Following the accused racism and backlash online following a viral video of sesame street character Rosita apparently ignoring black children in a parade, Sesame Place Philadelphia will undergo “bias training”.
In a statement, Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization that operates the Sesame Place theme park, said the park would undergo a “thorough review of how they engage [with] families and guests.”
“As a global non-profit educational organization with a mission to help children become smarter, stronger and kinder, Sesame Workshop has always stood for respect, inclusion and belonging and is committed to provide the highest quality engaging experiences for all children and families,” they continued. .
The viral video of a young black girl celebrating her birthday in the park, ignored by la Rosita, was originally posted by Instagram user @__jodiii__ before taking to Twitter, where it amassed more than 9 million views and thousands of responses expressing their outrage.
In a statement shared on Instagram, Sesame Place claimed that “Rosita’s performer did not intentionally ignore the girls and is devastated by the misunderstanding.”
They also claimed that the artist allegedly said no to other guests who asked Rosita to hold their child for a photo, which is not allowed.
“I really feel like this statement was released to save face,” the birthday girl’s mother wrote in an Instagram Story in response to the theme park’s statement.
In a separate July 18 statement, Sesame Place wrote, “We know this is not [okay]. We are taking steps to do better. We are committed to remedying this.”
Meanwhile, several other videos have since surfaced showing figures in the park ignoring black children while acknowledging other children. Now, it looks like the original video was just the tip of the iceberg.
“Although we hate to speculate and consider ‘race’ as the motivating factor, which would explain the artist’s actions, such actions both before and after the young girls reached out to us only lead us ‘to a conclusion,” B’Ivory LaMarr, the attorney representing the family in the viral video, said in a statement to ABC News.
“I also think a lot of parents, as you can see in the other videos that are now being posted, went through a similar thing and just didn’t talk about it right away. So now they have the courage to say , “Hey, it happened to my child too ‘… They are innocent children,” added Jodi Brown, the girl’s mother.
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