Natyana Muhammad posted a video to Twitter of her two-year-old daughter at a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party. She claims the mascot gave attention to the white kids there but ignored her daughter. According to NBC News, Muhammad is considering a lawsuit.
“On July 30 at Chuck E Cheese in Wayne, NJ, my 2yo was racially discriminated against. As you can see, he gives all of the yt kids hi-5s & PURPOSELY ignored my black baby. When confronted, he ignored me as well. The manager, Angie Valasquez, made excuses for him..” Muhammad wrote in the tweet.
I grew up in the creepy, animatronic phase of Chuck E. Cheese, so I was never enthusiastic about the mouse. Though, the feeling of being noticed by your favorite character as a youngin’ meant the world for the few moments you had with them. Seeing this little girl get ignored was heartbreaking.
Read more about the incident from NBC News:
“I stopped recording. I actually tapped Chuck E. on his arm to let him know that Safa was standing right there, and he ignored me,” Muhammad told NBC News on Wednesday.
Safa had never seen Chuck E. Cheese in person, so her mother was excited to get her reaction on camera.
Muhammad said their family was in the party room because Safa was a guest of one of the birthday parties. She said the mascot didn’t go to their table at all until a manager pushed it to.
The location’s manager told Muhammad that the mascot hadn’t seen her daughter and insisted on arranging a photo for Safa with Chuck E. Cheese, but Safa was visibly upset. Muhammad said she was looking for a lawyer to discuss her options about a potential lawsuit.
Per NBC’s report, Chuck E. Cheese’s corporate office said in a statement they were “deeply saddened” by the situation and thanked Muhammad for giving the onsite manager an opportunity to apologize. Muhammad said via Twitter the manager’s “apology” was more like, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
Users flooded Muhammad’s Twitter thread with more videos showing similar incidents, including the most recent one at Sesame Place in Philadelphia and another incident at Disney.
“You don’t do that. Not only was it unnecessary, it was inhumane to do that to a toddler,” said Muhammad via NBC News.