LANGHORNE, Pa. (WHTM) — Sesame Place has responded to claims that a performer at the popular Pennsylvania theme park intentionally ignored two Black girls during a parade.
The mother of the two children shared her complaints on Instagram earlier this week, along with a video showing “Sesame Street” character Rosita high-fiving parade watchers. When Rosita was approached by the two girls in the now-viral clip, the character appeared to wave them away.
“We were on our way out of sesame place and the kids wanted to stop to see the characters,” the girls’ mother wrote in the caption. “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,” the mom added.
Located outside Philadelphia and designed to mirror the popular television show “Sesame Street,” Sesame Place released a statement on Instagram responding to the incident. The park claimed the performer “did not intentionally ignore the girls and is devastated about the misunderstanding.”
“The performer portraying the Rosita character confirmed that the ‘no’ hand gesture seen several times in the video was not directed at 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,” reads the statement.
The park added that the costumes worn by performers can make it difficult to see below eye-level. Officials at Sesame Place have also spoken with the family to apologize, and have invited them for a special meet-and-greet with the characters, according to the statement.
“For over 40 years Sesame Place has worked to uphold the values of respect, inclusion and belonging, the statement continued. “We are committed to doing a better job making children and families feel special, seen and included when they come to our parks.