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Sesame Place Rosita character ignores Black kids at parade

by Ezekiel J. Walker
Sesame Place Rosita character ignores Black kids at parade
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A mother of two young Black girls is calling out Sesame Place Philadelphia after she says her daughters were intentionally dismissed by a performer dressed as a Sesame Street character over the weekend, sparking a quick and fierce backlash online.

In the now viral video posted Saturday on the mother’s Instagram account, two young girls are seen excitedly reaching out to the character Rosita, the first bilingual muppet on Sesame Street. Although the performer had interacted with other other children just before reaching the Black girls, the video shows the character shaking its head “no” in their direction.

“We were on our way out of Sesame Place and the kids wanted to stop to see the characters,” the mom wrote on Instagram. “THIS DISGUSTING person blatantly told our kids NO then proceeded to hug the little white girl next to us!”

In response, Sesame Place Philadelphia said in a statement on instagram Sunday that the costumes its performers wear “sometimes make it difficult to see at lower levels” and that sometimes “performers miss hug requests from guests.”

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.”

The Black Wall Street Times reached out to the mother for comment, however, no communication has been returned as of yet.

Sesame Place continued in its statement, “Regarding the incident yesterday. …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.”

Kelly Rowland posted the clip to her Instagram Story, writing, “TF! This just made me So mad!” She also addressed her 13.4 million followers directly.

“OK so, had that been me, that whole parade would have been in flames,” the Destiny’s Child singer declared on Sunday. “Like, are you serious? You’re 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. Hello.”

The Wire alum Wendell Pierce related the video to a traumatic moment from his own childhood, calling it “violent” and “scarring.”

Mom continues to fight against Sesame Place

“I whole heartedly feel as though that statement was released to save face,” the mom wrote.

She also claims that after a manager initially reached out to her, there has been “no communication.” She wants the park to issue “a public apology to my girls,” calling the statement “disrespectful and distasteful.”

“Talk about adding insult to injury,” she wrote. “I really tried to handle this situation calm as possible but I am hurt, and that response just made it worse! The character could’ve just waved to everyone or just kept walking, but to blatantly look at my kids and say no… Don’t try to tell me he can’t see lower levels. He looked at them and said no!! So embarrassing and hurtful. I will repost this video everyday until the situation is handled. Signed: A hurt mom.”

Rosita ignored other kids according to new footage

Per Revolt, in newly surfaced videos, Rosita seemingly ignores multiple children of color as she entertains entertains other kids in her vicinity who appear to be white. It is unknown when the videos were taken.

In one video, a little Black boy sits with a couple, assumed to be his parents. As Rosita marches their way, she interacts with just about every arm that’s reaching out that isn’t brown or darker. As she gets to the small boy and the woman he’s with, both of whom have their arms extended, Rosita continues walking. “He wanted a dap. He wanted a high-five,” the man’s voice says from behind the camera.

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12 comments

Wooly. Worker July 19, 2022 - 9:47 pm

So let me get this straight. A minimum wage worker who plays a make believe character was having a bad day and didn’t make a fuss over two little kids . So then Karen decides to berate someone she doesn’t even know claiming her kids were denied a wonderful experience hoping to get a formal public apology and embarrass Sesame Place claiming they were discriminated against and using race as the reason. Hopefully getting a settlement. And this is news worthy . Give me a frigging break , what a joke. I guess maybe getting mobbed by kids all day while making $7.50 an hour wearing a wooly costume in 90° heat wouldn’t bother Anyone!!!

Reply
Pablo July 20, 2022 - 7:41 am

Right this is just about money not about race

Reply
Lola July 19, 2022 - 10:28 pm

@Wolly Wonka – White Fragility is sold at your local bookstore. Your mental health challenge… well, just pray.

Reply
Jasmine July 21, 2022 - 9:39 pm

Let me guess you’re white and lack knowledge of the obvious racism that was displayed or just as racist and trying to make excuses like the rest of the scary white racist people who show their true colors through others my guess you guess you’re just Ignorant, this mother didn’t ask for nothing but an apology I guess that’s too much huh racist one, pathetic you’re sad and part of the reason why I wish one of you funny looking color changing by the weather shedding hair dog smelling white person would

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Keith Essien July 20, 2022 - 2:48 pm

When I read this story……honestly sometimes I really hate white people (And I’m not even that kinda person) And I’m talking a hatred that comes from the very pit of my soul.

The thing is you can’t shame them and when can’t shame a person for coward sh*t. That’s a dangerous person. And understand that this came from the top. There is something real sick in white culture, because they have whole systems (The dark web etc) and islands (Epstein) were they abuse their own white kids.

They wanna transport that sh*t on to blk kids. My father once said that white people are the products of involution….that’s the opposite of evolution and you know what ? Seeing some of the sh*t they do….to a ppl who have done nothing to them ? I’m starting to agree with him

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