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Family Suing Theme Park For $25 Million For Alleged Racial Discrimination After Sesame Street Character 'Snubs' Them

Family Suing Theme Park For $25 Million For Alleged Racial Discrimination After Sesame Street Character 'Snubs' Them

A family from Baltimore is suing Sesame Place after alleging racial discrimination

A family is suing a Sesame Street theme park for $25 million after claiming their children were racially discriminated against.

The family from Baltimore claim that multiple costumed characters from the popular kids’ TV show ignored their five-year-old daughter during an event that took place last month.

This lawsuit comes in the aftermath of a video that appeared to show two Black girls being ignored by one of the performers in costume during a parade.

The character in the video then proceeded to hug a white child without hesitation.

The park – situated in Langthorne outside Philadelphia – later apologised after the footage went viral, promising that staff would receive extra training.

A video showing a character appearing to snub two black children went viral.

However, this suit – which is aiming for class action status – has been brought in Philadelphia against SeaWorld Parks, which owns the park, alleging ‘pervasive and appalling race discrimination’.

In the suit, it is alleged that four characters ignored Quinton Burns, his daughter Kennedi and a number of other Black guests during the meet and greet event on 18 June.

Documents state that ‘SeaWorld’s performers readily engaged with numerous similarly situated white customers.’

At a press conference yesterday (27 July) one of the family’s attorneys, Malcolm Ruff, asked for SeaWorld Parks to pay compensation to the Burns family, as well as calling for openness from the group.

Another lawyer, William Murphy, said: “Racism is horrible when it’s perpetrated against adults, but it’s in a separate category altogether of horror when it’s perpetrated against kids,”

The suit is seeking $25 million in damages from the SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment company, as well as asking for the park to implement cultural sensitivity training and education on the history of discrimination as a mandatory condition for all staff.

Sesame Place Philadelphia said that it was reviewing the suit and would address the claims made through ‘the established legal process’.

Sesame Place in Philadelphia.
Helen/Alamy Stock Photo

A statement read: "We are committed to deliver an inclusive, equitable and entertaining experience for all our guests."

After the video went viral, the park issued a statement claiming that employees stand for ‘inclusivity and equality in all forms’ but mentioned that performers sometimes miss children because of their costumes and restricted visibility at lower levels.

The statement claimed: “The Rosita performer did not intentionally ignore the girls and is devastated by the misunderstanding,”

In a later statement, the park said it was ‘taking action to do better’, including inclusivity training.

UNILAD has approached SeaWorld Parks for a statement.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website 

Featured Image Credit: NBC10 Philadelphia/@__jodiii__/Instagram

Topics: US News, World News, Racism, Film and TV