A Sesame Place Character Snubbed Two Black Girls and Mom Is Doing Something About It

A mother's viral post captured the moment when two Black girls were ignored by Rosita at Sesame Place in Philadelphia—and it may not be the first time.

Over the weekend, a nine-second video of Rosita, a character on Sesame Street, seemingly snubbing two Black girls during a Sesame Place parade went viral. In the video posted by Jodi Brown, who is the mother of one of the girls and @__jodiii__ on, Instagram, Rosita high fives a couple of white children and a white adult before gesturing "No," shaking her head, and walking away from the two Black girls whose arms are outstretched.

Sesame Place is a Sesame Street-themed amusement park with rides, parades, and muppet experiences located outside of Philadelphia.

In the Instagram caption, Brown says Rosita immediately hugged a "little white girl" next to them right after she captured Rosita saying "No," to them on video, but she stopped filming because she was upset.

The video Brown posted has more than 700,000 views on Instagram alone. Activist Leslie Mac shared it on Twitter Sunday afternoon where it has more than 9 million views and 23,000 retweets and quote tweets.

In response to the backlash, Sesame Place released two statements on Instagram. The first one essentially called the incident a misunderstanding.

"The costumes our performers wear sometimes make it difficult to see at lower levels and sometimes our performers miss hug requests from guests," the statement says in part.

"The Rosita performer did not intentionally ignore the girls and is devastated about the misunderstanding."

Rosita of Sesame Street
Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Many of the comments on that post are dubious. Actress and singer Kelly Rowland commented on the post. "Those gorgeous girls will never forget that feeling! THEY ARE KIDS!!!!!" said Rowland. "You should be ASHAMED of yourselves for this pathetic statement!"

She also shared it on her Instagram story. "OK, so had that been me, that whole parade would've been in flames," said Rowland. "Are you serious?! You're not going to speak to my child? And did you see that baby's face at the end? The little one with the pink on? She deserves an explanation!"

The next day, Sesame Place posted a second statement saying they were working to make things "right."

"We sincerely apologize to the family for their experience in our park on Saturday; we know that it's not ok. 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, recognize, and deliver an inclusive, equitable and entertaining experience to our guests," said Sesame Place.

However, people on Twitter have been questioning Sesame Place's assertion that this was a one-time thing. Twitter user @_TheShawn compiled a short thread with videos of Sesame Street characters—including Rosita —ignoring other Black children on parade routes.

Brown is working with an attorney who told CNN, "At this point we're calling for a genuine, authentic, apology, acknowledging the harm that has been caused in outrageousness of the actions and to do right, to make amends with the damage that's been caused to these two young girls."

Brown says that the incident has affected her daughter and she's asking questions." My daughter was just sad. She asked,' Mom what did I do? What happened?' and I said you didn't do anything. Some people are just mean people," says Brown.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles