Black Family Alleges Racial Discrimination in Lawsuit Against Sesame Place
A Baltimore-based family has filed a $25 million class action lawsuit against Sesame Place, alleging the theme park’s “pervasive and appalling race discrimination” against their 5-year-old daughter.
In court documents obtained from Business Insider, Burns said costumed employees noticeably ignored his daughter, a Black girl, after engaging with other children during the family’s June 18 visit to the Philadelphia-area park.
He is one of many parents outraged after their Black children were ignored by the people dressed as the characters; a mom’s viral video shows the person playing Sesame Street’s Rosita visibly refusing to high-five her two young Black daughters. That family’s visit was on July 16, nearly a month after the Burns incident.
The Burns family plans to release their video footage of the encounter, joining several other families who captured similar action on video while they were at the park.
“She was ignored amongst a sea of other young white children, who were able to interact, give hugs, high-fives, and love from these characters that are supposed to be a source of safety, a source of equity, a source of kindness,” Burns’ attorney Malcolm Ruff said during a press conference on Wednesday when the suit was filed.
Sesame Place has faced much backlash since the incidents went public, and the park has since apologized and emphasized its stance on inclusivity.
Activist Tamika Mallory started a petition to demand Sesame Place hold its employees accountable.