A Black mother is calling out Sesame Place after one of the characters avoided her children during a parade.
The parent, who identifies herself as Jodi, posted a video on Instagram Sunday (July 17), which shows her two young girls waiting to be greeted by an employee dressed as Rosita. After high-fiving other children in the crowd, the daughters excitedly approach the character. That's when Rosita shakes their hand as if saying "no," and walks away. One of the girls appears visibly upset.
Jodi captioned the video:
THIS DISGUSTING person blatantly told our kids NO then proceeded to hug the little white girl next to us! Then when I went to complain about it, they looking at me like I’m crazy. I asked the lady who the character was and I wanted to see a supervisor and she told me SHE DIDNT KNOW !! I will never step foot in @sesameplace ever again ! And please feel free to repost this. Actually run me my money back... so mad I stopped the video but It got me so mad when he blatantly told them no.
The video, which has over 343,000 likes as of Monday (July 18), led to outrage on social media.
"I am so disgusted @SesamePlace. This blatant display of racism is both unacceptable and heartbreaking to say the least," one Twitter user said. "Your staff embraced its caucasian customers but shunned two little innocent black girls. How embarrassing and disgraceful?"
Another user responded: "It's upsetting because no matter what damage control is attempted by Sesame Place, nothing can undo how these babies were made to feel in this moment. The looks on their faces are so heartbreaking."
“Okay so had that been me, that whole parade would have been in flames,” Rowland said. “Are you serious? You not going to speak to my child? And did you see that baby’s face at the end? The little one with the pink on, she deserves an explanation."
The costumes our performers wear sometimes make it difficult to see at lower levels and sometimes our performers miss hug requests from guests... The performer portraying the Rosita character has confirmed that the 'no' hand gesture seen several times in the video was not directed to any specific person, rather it was a response to multiple requests from someone in the crowd who asked Rosita to hold their child for a photo, which is not permitted.
Park representatives also said they apologized to the family and offered to invite them back for "a special meet-and-greet opportunity with our characters."