The Sesame Place theme park is being sued by another Black family who alleges it’s characters ignored and mistreated their children at the park.
Baltimore law firm Murphy, Falcon & Murphy filed a class action lawsuit on Tuesday against Sesame Place in which the plaintiff Quinton Burns says that his daughter, five-year-old Kennedi Burns was snubbed by some of her favorite Sesame Street characters while some of those same characters interacted with other children in the same area. The Burnses are Black.
In a video provided to the Root on Tuesday, Kennedi Burns is seen holding out her hand to interact with a character that dances over toward her and other children watching a performance. The character—played by an actor wearing a bright pink costume—shakes hands with another child in front of Kennedi and dances away as Kennedi turns toward the camera with a look of confusion.
Seconds later, an actor costumed as Ernie from the Sesame Street franchise shakes hands with other kids sitting on a curb directly in front of Kennedi, but again walks away from Kennedi’s outstretched hand.
The Burns lawsuit was filed a week after other Black families said other actors in Sesame Street characters’ costumes, had ignored their children at the theme park, in Bucks County, Pennsylvanian, north of Philadelphia.
From ABC News
In the incident involving girls from another family that prompted the Burns family to come forward, a “Sesame Street” character named Rosita is seen giving high-fives to parkgoers as she walks down the line, before appearing to shake her head at and wave off the two girls as she walks away from them.
“#BabyPaige & her cute lil friends went to @SesamePlace this weekend to celebrate Paige’s 4th birthday & this is how #SesamePlace treated these beautiful Black children,” the tweet, posted by the apparent aunt, Jodi Brown, of the girl celebrating her birthday, read.
In the park’s initial statement, it said the performer portraying Rosita intended the “no” hand gesture in response to requests to hold children for a photo and did not intentionally ignore the girls.
The Burns lawsuit claims that Sesame Place entered into a contract with the family by selling them tickets to enter and then breached it by discriminating against Kennedi because of her race.
The theme park has said that it will respond to the claim “through the established legal process,” and that it is committed to an inclusive environment.