Parents are putting Sesame Place on blast after the Rosita character at the Pennsylvania location seemingly ignored Black and Brown children. The incident that tipped the iceberg occurred a few days ago.
In the video clip, two Black girls are seen reaching out to Rosita during the parade. The Sesame Place character gives high-fives to children and adults who came before the girls in the line-up. Rosita intentionally backs away from the Black girls while waving a hand in a motion that appears to further deny the girls the affection they desire. Both of the little girls turn around with looks of disappointment on their faces after the interaction.
“This had me hot,” the girls’ mother said this past weekend in an Instagram post. “We were on our way out of Sesame Place and the kids wanted to stop to see the characters. THIS DISGUSTING person blatantly told our kids NO then proceeded to hug the little white girl next to us,” the girls’ mom continued.
“Then when I went to complain about it, they [were] looking at me like I’m crazy,” the angry parent added. “I asked the lady who the character was and I wanted to see a supervisor and she told me SHE DIDN’T KNOW !! I will never step foot in @sesameplace ever again!”
Some accused the furious mother of “reaching” with her complaint. Other parents of Black and Brown kids who recently visited the theme park, however, posted videos of the same character denying their children hugs and high-fives. “Since seeing [a] few other posts like this in the past couple [of] days I figured I should too,” one Instagram user shared along with a video clip of the Sesame Street character appearing to ignore a girl who ran up for a hug.
“Now, I’m not saying #Rosita is racist,” the social media user shared. “But whoever is under this/those masks sure is curving a bunch of Brown kids. She ignored Lola TWICE last Sunday,” the parent explained. “Lola ran up to her saying ‘ROSITA!’ The character went out of their way to change course and immediately after hugged and took a pic with a little white girl.”
Dozens are calling for Sesame Place to investigate what appears to be a “pattern” with Rosita’s character. “A pattern of disgusting behavior,” one Instagram fan declared. “She needs to be fired and to (sic) never be allowed to work with children again.” Another social media user agreed by saying, “We can’t let them do this to our kids. This is hurtful and infuriating.”
Sesame Place released the following statement regarding the incident with Rosita appearing to ignore the two Black girls during the parade:
“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. The Rosita performer did not intentionally ignore the girls and is devastated about the misunderstanding.”
Sesame Place has not released a statement regarding the other instances of Rosita seemingly ignoring other Black and Brown children during their visits to the theme park.