Even more videos: Sesame Place in Bucks County keeps apologizing for brush-off of Black girls
Sesame Place has apologized twice after a video went viral showing a character waving off two Black girls during a parade Saturday.
Leslie Mac said on her Twitter account that her grand-niece Paige was at the Bucks County amusement park on Saturday for her 4th birthday celebration. Mac posted video of the character Rosita giving high fives to people along the parade route but waved off Paige and her friend who had their arms extended.
"This is how #SesamePlace treated these beautiful Black children. I'm HOT," Mac wrote.
Sesame Place first tried to explain on its Instagram account that the girls were not intentionally ignored. The sightline of characters in costume is sometimes blocked at lower levels and the performers miss hug requests from guests.
"The performer portraying the Rosita character has confirmed that the 'no' hand gesture seen several times in the video was not directed to any specific person, rather it was a response to multiple requests from someone in the crowd who asked Rosita to hold their child for a photo which is not permitted," Sesame Place initially said in a written statement.
First apology goes wrong
Sesame Place said they spoke to the family and invited them to a special meet-and-greet. Mac, however, tweeted another message on Monday saying that no one from Sesame Place had contacted her family.
"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," Mac said on Twitter.
A second apology from Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop, which licenses Sesame Park, issued its own apology on Monday night and said what Paige and her friend experienced was unacceptable.
"We have been in touch with Sesame Place, our licensed park partner, and they have assured us they will conduct bias training and a thorough review of the ways in which they engage with families and guests," Sesame Workshop wrote.
The park issued a second apology and said what happened "is not okay" and they are committed to making it right.
In another video posted Tuesday morning, Mac said her family has retained a lawyer but did not disclose further details about their next step.
Other video surfaces of Marita
Since the video went viral, other video has been posted showing the costumed Marita ignoring Black children.
In one video, Marita is walking with a non-costumed park employee and waves at a group of Black children and adults but walks past a small Black girl who runs up and touches the costume.
Another video shows Marita dancing and high-fiving during a parade. A young Black boy moves to stand in Marita's path as a woman waves but the character walks past and ignores him.
It's not known if the performer in both videos, which were posted on Monday, is the same as in Leslie Mac's video or when the footage was taken.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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