Sesame Place's Rosita slammed as racist as character refuses to high-five Black girls in viral video
The incident came to the notice of Kelly Rowland who slammed the theme park
A mother released a video online in which a costumed figure from Sesame Place Philadelphia appears to ignore her two kids apparently because of their skin color. The woman who posted the video on Instagram was upset when she saw the person dressed as Rosita dismiss her young girls when they extended their arms for a high-five.
In the video, the Muppet is seen getting ready to hug and high-five youngsters in the parade but ignoring the young black kids. The mother from the Instagram handle __jodiii__ explained the incident in the post's caption, "I’m going to keep posting this, because this had me hot. We were on our way out of Sesame Place and the kids wanted to stop to see the characters."
She added, "THIS DISGUSTING person blatantly told our kids NO then proceeded to hug the little white girl next to us! Then when I went to complain about it, they looking at me like I’m crazy."
"I asked the lady who the character was and I wanted to see a supervisor and she told me SHE DIDNT KNOW !!" She concluded by mentioning that she would never go back to Sesame Place again.
The original video had approximately 388,000 views, and a social media re-post has garnered over 5.5 million views.
#BabyPaige & her cute lil friends went to @SesamePlace this weekend to celebrate Paige's 4th birthday & this is how #SesamePlace treated these beautiful Black children. I'm HOT. pic.twitter.com/wATjpRzUF1— Leslie Mac (@LeslieMac) July 17, 2022
Kelly Rowland even took notice of the re-post. Through her Instagram stories, Kelly said: "Okay so had that been me, that whole parade would have been in flames. 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. "
Online commenters were incensed and accused the Sesame Place employee wearing the Rosita costume of racism.
A person commented on her Instagram post saying, "OMFG! This is blatant racism! Toward kids??? I can’t believe what I just watched. I hate this world for our kids 😓🙏🏾".
Actor Jermaine Crawford commented, "First, sorry this happened to your beautiful babies. Secondly, @sesameplace - then they got the nerve to have advertisements on their IG page of a black family smiling hard going down the slip n slide. They want our money but don’t want us there. Any chance your kids like Black Panther?"
In a statement shared on social media on Sunday, Sesame Place Philadelphia claimed that the event was not racially motivated.
"Our brand, our park, and our employees stand for inclusivity and equality in all forms. That is what Sesame Place is all about and we do not tolerate any behaviors in our parks that are contrary to that commitment. 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 statement said.
"The Rosita performer did not intentionally ignore the girls and is devastated about the misunderstanding." According to the park's statement, it also apologized to the family and invited them to a special meet-and-greet with the park's characters.
However, on her Instagram story, the mother said Sesame Place did not attempt to get in touch with her or offer her girls an apology. She confirmed that a manager contacted her but that no attempts had been made to get in touch with her after the video went public. "I wholeheartedly feel as though that statement was released to save face," she wrote. "The statement was disrespectful and distasteful," the mom said.
Despite being saddened by the situation, the mother claimed she was handling it as coolly as she could. She pledged to repost the video daily until the situation was rectified.
"The character could’ve just waved to everyone or just kept walking but to blatantly look at my kids and say no," she continued. "Don’t try to tell me he can’t see lower levels; he took one look at them and said no."