Listen to this story
The families of two young Black girls shown in a now-viral video recording being snubbed by a Sesame Place character are calling on the company to take further action.
In the clip, the two young girls eagerly reach out to the “Rosita” character. But Rosita is seen shaking their head “no” in their direction and walks right by them.
Jodi Brown, whose 6-year-old niece was in the first viral video, held a news conference alongside attorney B’Ivory LaMarr outside Sesame Workshop in New York City on Wednesday.
“You told these kids for years ‘come and play, everything’s OK, friendly neighbors there, that’s where we meet, can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?’ And once these kids figure out how to get to Sesame Street…they reach out in open arms to these friendly neighbors, for what? To be dismissed? To be rejected? And to leave your park inferior,” LaMarr told reporters.
Following the backlash, Sesame Place issued two statements. The first statement insists that the company and its employees stand for “inclusivity and equality in all forms.”
Sesame Place blamed the costumes, adding that sometimes it is hard for performers to see requests for hugs. But immediately following the cold dismissal of the Black children, Rosita then goes on to embrace a white child.
“The Rosita performer did not intentionally ignore the girls and is devastated by the misunderstanding,” the statement reads.
LaMarr and the families rejected the company’s explanation.
“We have information that we possess – we are going to give this company, they got less than 12 hours to come out with information with a very genuine and authentic apology – or we’re going to put out evidence showing exactly what took place in addition to the video you’ve already seen,” LaMarr said.