Sesame Place will conduct bias training for employees after a viral video appeared to show a performer snubbing two Black children during a parade.
In a video that went viral on social media, two Black children are seen at Philadelphia's Sesame Place park reaching out toward a Rosita mascot, only for the performer to shake their head, gesture "no," and continue walking. The mother, who shared the video on Instagram, alleged the performer "proceeded to hug the little white girl next to us."
In a statement, Sesame Place Philadelphia said the performer "has confirmed that the 'no' hand gesture" seen in the video was "not directed to any specific person" but was instead "a response to multiple requests from someone in the crowd" who asked them "to hold their child for a photo which is not permitted." The performer "did not intentionally ignore the girls and is devastated about the misunderstanding," Sesame Place added.
But in a second statement, Sesame Place apologized to the family, promising, "We are taking actions to do better." Sesame Workshop also said the park will conduct bias training for employees "and a thorough review of the ways in which they engage with families and guests," as "what these children experienced is unacceptable."
According to TMZ, the family has retained a lawyer to investigate the situation and potentially file a lawsuit. Their attorney, B'Ivory LaMarr, told TMZ, "While we hate to rush to judgment to consider 'race' as the motivating factor to explain the performer's actions, such actions both before and after the young girl's request only lead to one conclusion."