You Racist Muppet! Baltimore Family Sues Sesame Street Theme Park for Snubbing Daughter During Meet and Greet
Imagine taking your family to a theme park geared towards children. Watching your child's eyes light up as they experience
Imagine taking your family to a theme park geared towards children.
Watching your child's eyes light up as they experience their favorite characters in person, and explore the wonder of a carefully curated atmosphere designed to delight.
But then some of their favorite characters pass them over intentionally – leaving them heartbroken.
One Baltimore family experienced this, but they say it was more than an oversight – it was racism.
A Lawsuit for Racism
Black father Quintin Burns brought his young daughter Kennedi to Sesame Place, and they lined up for a character meet-and-greet on June 18.
According to Burns, four employees skipped over his daughter and other Black children at the event.
Burns says of the incident, "Just looking at her face, it makes me want to cry every time I see it."
He has now filed a lawsuit for $25M against the owner of Sesame Place, SeaWorld Parks for what the suit claims is, "pervasive and appalling race discrimination."
The incident comes on the heels of a viral video involving Sesame Street characters.
In this video, one of Sesame Street's most famous characters can be seen in costume in a parade, waving to fans and high fiving.
Two young Black girls wait their turn, holding their hands out for hugs or high fives. Rosita appears to look down at them, wave her hand dismissively, and then move on to the next group – witnesses said she did go on to give more high fives to White children.
Sesame Street is Usually Addressing Racism, Not Perpetuating It
It's a jarring series of incidents for the Sesame Street brand, which is often criticized for being "too woke" and pushing racial equality "agendas."
Sesame Place has issued several statements about the incidents, defending the Rosita character actor by saying she simply could not see because of the visibility afforded by the mask.
But enough families have come forward with similar accusations that it's unlikely that this will be brushed off as a one-time event.
The non-profit behind Sesame Street, Sesame Workshop, has released a statement, saying that Sesame Place is "licensed partner" and promising that the parks will engage in "bias training and a thorough review of the ways in which they engage with families and guests."
But fans aren't content that it's enough. Many are calling for the employee to be fired and for the leadership at Sesame Place to be placed under scrutiny, since it happened on their watch.
Instagram users took to the comment section under Sesame Workshop's statement, with one user saying, "No, no, no. What you're going to do is fire these employees because they will not learn their lesson. I don't care if this puts the park experience at risk, but it sure as h–l will be a better experience for children."
Another user added, "Since when GROWN UPS need to be TRAINED on HOW TO BE KIND to ALL RACES ???? ♀️ ♀️☹️ He or she should be fired INTENTIONALLY , just like he or she INTENTIONALLY ignored those little innocent children‼️‼️‼️"
And one went on to suggest ways to avoid this in the future, "Quite honestly this isn’t enough. I’m sorry to say but I believe with my whole soul that your 'training' will be conducted by people who have not nor will they ever experience race based discrimination. I can just about guarantee it because it’s not about simply about teaching people about being not racist. It’s deeper than that & the people who you have teaching you again are typically other ⚪️ people. So how can we believe you? We’ve seen one too many times that these are just words. Hire more black & POC & maybe you won’t have this problem."
The suit was filed in a federal court in Philidelphia.