Sesame Place is facing accusations of racism after a viral video showed an employee snubbing two black girls at the Pennsylvania theme park last weekend.
Defenders of the “Sesame Street” establishment said the incident may have been an unintentional one-off, but several other clips have surfaced showing similarly problematic behavior.
The videos — several of which were recorded by other black visitors to the Pennsylvania park in recent weeks — were shared by the popular Instagram account @frobabies, which posed the question: “Is this a pattern?”
The Post has reached out to Sesame Place for comment.
One heartbreaking video shows an excited black boy being ignored by an employee dressed up as Sesame Street’s Rosita — the same character who snubbed the black girls in the original viral clip.
The boy’s mom, Cydney Moore, told The Post that she and her family flew from North Carolina specifically to visit Sesame Place, as “Sesame Street” is her 2-year-old son’s “favorite show.”
“It was heartbreaking,” Moore said of the moment Rosita snubbed her toddler. “To see the look on my son’s face after he was ignored and overlooked was devastating. He didn’t understand why Rosita didn’t give him a high-five or at least wave at him.”
Moore said she later comforted her son, saying, “I gave him a big hug and told him I loved him.”
The incident isn’t an isolated one, with the @frobabies account sharing two other shocking clips similarly showing Rosita ignoring black children.
“June 24th, a family was standing with their [black children] and it appears as if they are being ignored as well,” the @frobabies account owner wrote beneath one of the videos.
Another angry parent told @frobabies: “She [Rosita] ignored [my daughter] Lola TWICE last Sunday (July 10). 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. Investigate this pattern.”
It appears that Rosita’s snubbing of black children may not just be confined to recent weeks.
One person sent in footage of their black niece trying in vain to get a hug from the Muppet, who instead reached down to wrap a white child in a warm embrace.
“This was 2019 before the pandemic!!” the sender wrote.
However, Rosita doesn’t seem to be the only Sesame Place character exhibiting problematic behavior toward black visitors at the park.
A separate clip shows the character Honker aggressively walking up to a black toddler before pushing her to the ground.
“I was furious on this day waited hours for the manager that never came out,” the unnamed parent told @frobabies. “We ended up leaving. After seeing all these videos I’m sure it was done on purpose. This is supposed to be a safe/ friendly environment for children. This is sick to have these people behind them costumes, hurting these kids. They love these characters it’s sad!”
Meanwhile, on Facebook, a Philadelphia woman shared a video of the “Sesame Street” character Bert “slapping” a black girl at the park.
“I’m still waiting on answers from when your character slapped my little cousin!!” the Facebook user wrote, tagging Sesame Place.
The Post has reached out to those who recorded the videos at Sesame Place for further information, as well as the theme park, which has not addressed the problematic new clips.
However, in a statement released Tuesday, the company pledged to provide bias training to its employees in the wake of the original viral video, which was first posted over the weekend.
“We sincerely apologize to the family for their experience in our park on Saturday; we know that it’s not OK,” they said in a statement. “We will conduct training for our employees so they better understand, recognize and deliver an inclusive, equitable and entertaining experience to our guests.”
The family of the two girls has retained an attorney to investigate the situation and potentially pursue legal action, according to TMZ.
Family attorney B’Ivory LaMarr told TMZ they want to interview other people who were in attendance and evaluate other Rosita videos that have been appearing online showing similar situations.
“While we hate to rush to judgment to consider ‘race’ as the motivating factor to explain the performer’s actions, such actions both before and after the young girl’s request only lead to one conclusion,” LaMarr said.
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