Sesame Place is now the defendant in a 25 million dollar law suit after a video went viral of one of their characters (Rosita) waving off two small black girls after slapping hands with white children. The lawsuit claims that theme-park performers dressed as “Sesame Street” characters — including Elmo, Ernie, Telly Monster and Abby Cadabby — have committed “pervasive and appalling race discrimination against children in the operation of Sesame Place Philadelphia.”
The lawsuit demands that SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment implement “rigorous mandatory cultural sensitivity training,” as well as “mandatory educational courses … on the history of discrimination against Black people in America” for its staff. The Burnses (the lead plaintiffs) also request that the theme-park giant vet future applicants via “state of the art psychological screening methods … to avoid hiring racially bigoted employees and agents,” as well as evaluate “by appropriate psychological testing and behavioral history” existing staffers in order to determine the fate of their employment.
Sesame Place says the video captures Rosita saying no to other requests to hold a child while pictures were being taken which is prohibited. They say Rosita was not waving off the black girls. When that apology landed with a thud Sesame Place said they would implement bias training for their employees. They also said the costume prevents the performers from seeing small children.
Ov vey! Sesame Place is all over the place. The video looks awful. Their first explanation was the most plausible but it sounds like it is BS since they soon gave other explanations. If that was the truth then stick to it. If that is the truth there should be plenty of photos of characters waving off families of all ethnicities. I am sure there are cameras all over Sesame Place. Time to go through the footage and make your point. Unless that is a bunch of crap.
If that was the truth why do performers need bias training. The job is to make kids happy. You pose. You wave. You shake a hand. Maybe you give a hug. All children. Every color. Every gender. Every religion. You make kids happy. That’s the gig.
The explanation that the characters can’t see down is absurd. The characters are there for the children. Here is the thing about kids…they are short! You need to look down to see them. There are not any six foot five year olds last time I checked. If the costume design company comes to you and says here is the costume but the only thing is you can’t see down you should probably use a different company. That didn’t happen. Sesame Place was desperate.
If the waving people off because you can’t hold kids is not the truth than Sesame has a big problem. You know what the solution is. The character playing Rosita has been fired. We are offering the family lifetime passes and a special backstage tour. Be proactive. Make it seem like you actually care instead of the crap they went with.
You know what else? Nobody would ever know if you actually fired the person playing Rosita because she is in a full body costume. If you really believe Rosita made an honest mistake and is not a racist you can keep them in your employ and no one will know.
Bias training? Listen if you have to train your staff not to make little kids feel like crap because they are a racist you need to find a new talent pool of applicants. Your goddam Sesame Place. I have to believe that Monster.com has a ton of applicants that will fill the job perfectly.