Sesame Street character's 'racist' act caught on camera: 'So upsetting'

·News Editor
·3-min read

A child celebrating her fourth birthday at a Sesame Street-themed amusement park was reportedly left heartbroken after being snubbed by one of the characters in an alleged ‘racist’ act.

Paige and a friend were watching the parade at Sesame Place, a theme park in the US state of Philadelphia, as a staff member dressed as turquoise muppet character Rosita walked towards them.

One of the girls stands with her arms outstretched, waiting for a hug as the Sesame Place employee greets children lined up along the footpath.

Two little girls try to high five Sesame Street character Rosita at a parade.
The two girls were snubbed by Sesame Street character Rosita during the theme park parade. Source: Twitter

In the eight-second video ‘Rosita’ can be seen high-fiving kids and clapping her hands.

But as she approaches the two young Black girls, she shakes her head and waves someone away with her hand, and then waves the little girls away before walking off.

Both disappointed girls watch as the character walks away, one still holding out her arms.

According to ABC7, the staff member inside the Rosita costume said she was shaking her head at a request to hold a child, which is not permitted at the park.

Sesame Place did not deny the incident and issued an apology to the family.

'This is heartbreaking'

The clip was shared to Twitter, with user Leslie Mac explaining the girls were there for Paige’s birthday.

"#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," she wrote.

Viewers were outraged by the 'mean' treatment of the girls, with many vowing never to return to Sesame Place.

"WHATTTTTTT. Oh hell no. This is heartbreaking. Why are people so damn mean?" one woman wrote.

"No amount of public apology or performative statements by @SesamePlace will undo how this racist made these lovely Black children feel. No child should be treated this way. So upsetting!" another said.

"This is how we learn to ‘deal’ with racism. Subtle disappointments here and there. So heartbreaking. I don’t wish this on any child. So sad for #BabyPaige and her friends," a third wrote.

In a follow-up comment, Ms Mac said the incident occurred at the end of the "big parade" on the weekend.

"They were so sad," she said.

More videos emerge after tweet goes viral

After the video of Paige's birthday started being shared online, several other clips of controversial Sesame Place incidents emerged.

In one clip, a person dressed as a Honker muppet appears to purposely walks towards a toddler until she falls backwards on to the ground.

In another video reportedly filmed at Sesame Place, an Ernie character high-fives a row of children before he's accused of 'slapping' the face of a Black child.

"I’m still waiting on answers from when your character slapped my little cousin!" a woman wrote on Facebook alongside the video.

Sesame Place apologises to family

In a statement posted to Twitter, Sesame Place apologised to the family over the Rosita incident and said staff would undergo further training.

"We sincerely apologise to the family for their experience in our park on Saturday; we know that it's not ok," the statement read.

"We are taking actions to do better. We are committed to making this right. We will conduct training for our employees so they better understand, recognise and deliver an inclusive, equitable and entertaining experience to our guests."

Funnily enough, Rosita was the first bilingual Muppet on the Sesame Street, speaking both English and Spanish and incorporating both cultures on the show.

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