A mother of two young Black girls is suing Sesame Place Philadelphia after she claims her kids were purposefully rejected by a performer costumed as a Sesame Street character over the weekend, provoking a swift and strong internet outcry.
Two little children are seen joyfully reaching out to the character Rosita, the first multilingual Muppet on Sesame Street, in the now-viral video shared Saturday on the mother’s Instagram account. Despite the fact that the performer had interacted with other youngsters immediately before meeting the Black girls, the video shows the figure shaking its head “no” in their way.
“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 mom said on her Instagram.
Sesame Place Philadelphia responded on Instagram on Sunday, saying that the costumes its performers wear “may make it difficult to see at lower levels” and that “performers overlook hug requests from customers.”
According to NBC News, Sesame Place said the performer portraying Rosita did not direct the “no” hand gesture, which was used more than once in the video, toward “any specific person,” but was instead gesturing that way in “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,” the statement said. “We spoke to the family and extended our apologies and invited them back for a special meet-and-greet opportunity with our characters.”
The mother called Sesame Place’s apology “disrespectful and distasteful.”
Watch the video below and judge for yourself.