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media day at sesame street

Source: Dania Maxwell / Getty

A video of a performer at the Sesame Place amusement park blatantly ignoring two Black girls has sparked outrage online, with others sharing their own as the park fumbled an apology attempt.

On Sunday (July 17th), digital consultant Leslie Mac shared a video of a four-year-old Black girl named Paige and her friend watching the parade of performers dressed as characters from the beloved children’s show. A performer dressed as Rosita walked up, giving high-fives and saying hello to other children at the parade. As they approached Paige and her friend who had their arms outstretched for a hug, the Rosita character visibly waved them off with a “no” gesture and walks past. The original poster of the video was Paige’s mother, who reposted the short clip on her Instagram account. The clip sparked outrage among many online, including celebrities such as singer Kelly Rowland.

Some online were beginning to dismiss the situation as a one-time incident that was unintentional, but others have now come forward with their own videos capturing the same Rosita character distinctly avoiding Black children. Another video, posted via the theneighborhoodtalk Instagram account, shows the same Rosita stopping to give a high-five to other children before walking right past a Black boy eager to greet them. In this clip, you can hear a man in the background protest, saying: “He wanted a high-five.”

The furor compelled Sesame Place to issue a statement through their own Instagram account on Monday (July 18th) claiming that they spoke to the family and apologized, inviting them back to the Philadelphia-area park. But Mac says the conversation never happened. “THEY HAVE NOT INVITED THE KIDS BACK FOR ANYTHING. This statement is the first & only time the family heard about this offer & Sesame Place has cut off email communications. The entire statement is a lie,” she wrote on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/LeslieMac/status/1549042106806968320?s=20&t=GDkQjlyGzmvtfLASlr5nLA

Sesame Workshop issued a statement that same day on Twitter, formally apologizing: “We sincerely apologize to the family for their experience in our park on Saturday; we know that it’s not ok. We will conduct training for our employees so they better understand, recognize and deliver an inclusive, equitable, and entertaining experience to our guests.”

Racist Much?: Sesame Place Performer Catches Heat For Ignoring Black Kids  was originally published on hiphopwired.com