Photo Credit: Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images
Black Family Files $25 Million Lawsuit Against Sesame Place Philadelphia For Discrimination
A Black family from Baltimore is suing Sesame Place Philadelphia over claims of racial discrimination.
Quinton Burns and his five-year-old daughter, Kennedi, visited the theme park on Father’s Day, June 18. The $25 million lawsuit claims he and “all other Black guests in attendance” were discriminated against at a meet-and-greet event.
“We were shocked and dismayed that these costume character actors besmirched the great name of the Sesame Street brand, an institution as American as baseball and apple pie and who has for years battled for inclusively and equity for all people,” Attorney Malcolm Ruff.
The law firm is also filing a class action lawsuit for what they say is a pattern of discrimination.
How Did We Get Here?
The lawsuit comes following a now-viral video captured by a different Black family with Rosita’s character.
As we previously reported, the character waves and gives people high fives during a parade. But when she approaches the Black children, she shakes her head and hand, waving no before walking away.
Sesame Place Philadelphia released a statement, saying that the park and its employees stand for inclusivity and equality in all forms.
They added, “the costumes our performers wear sometimes make it difficult to see at lower levels and sometimes our performers miss hug requests from guests [….] the performer portraying Rosita did not intentionally ignore the girls.”
Sesame Place received a ton of criticism after they claimed to invite the family back to the park for a special meet-and-greet and after other Black families came forward with similar videos showing the characters deliberately ignoring Black children.
This prompted Sesame Place Philadelphia to release another statement.
“We sincerely apologize to the family for their experience,” the statement reads. “We know that it’s not okay and will conduct training for our employees, so they better understand, recognize, and deliver an inclusive, equitable, and entertaining experience to our guests.”
But this could be the beginning of their legal woes as more families of color come forward.