Social media users are widely calling out Sesame Place Philadelphia after a Black mother claimed an employee dressed as Sesame Street’s Rosita character snubbed her two young daughters.
A video shared by the mother shows her two daughters excitedly standing at the front of a crowd as Sesame Street stars paraded through the park.
While the Rosita character initially seemed friendly as they engaged other children and guests, the mother of two named Jodi captured the character’s attitude change when they walked pasted her daughters.
Despite the girls reaching out to get a high five or hug from the character, Rosita hand signaled a “no” in the children’s direction and continued walking past them.
Jodi gave more context to the moment her girls experienced in the video’s caption.
“I’m going to keep posting this, because this had me hot,” the mother expressed. “We were on our way out of Sesame Place and the kids wanted to stop to see the characters. THIS DISGUSTING person blatantly told our kids NO, then proceeded to hug the little white girl next to us! Then when I went to complain about it, they looking at me like I’m crazy.”
“I asked the lady who the character was and [said] I wanted to see a supervisor and she told me SHE DIDN’T KNOW!! I will never step foot in @sesameplace ever again!” Jodi said. “And please feel free to repost this. Actually run me my money back 😡🤬. So mad I stopped the video but it got me so mad when he blatantly told them no.”
Social Media’s Reaction
People haven’t been responding well on social media to what looks like Jodi’s children being snubbed by Rosita.
In comments underneath The Shade Room’s repost, users said,
“It was the look on the children’s faces for me!!! Crushing as a mom.”
“Welp, won’t be taking my daughter there!”
and “Omg!!! Those poor innocent beautiful black girls didn’t deserve that.”
Singer Kelly Rowland also took to her Instagram Stories to weigh in on the incident with her two cents.
“Okay so had that been me, that whole parade would have been in flames,” the “Motivation” singer said. “Like, are you serious? You’re not going to speak to my child? And did you see that baby’s face at the end? The little one with the pink on? She deserves an explanation.”
Sesame Place Responds
Sesame Place has since offered a public apology in response to the backlash.
In a statement released on July 17, the theme park claimed Rosita’s “No” hand gesture was directed at someone in the crowd who wanted the character to hold their child for a photo.
“The costumes our performers wear sometimes make it difficult to see at lowers levels and sometimes our performers miss hug requests from guests,” the statement outlined.
Sesame Place additionally claimed the employee dressed up as Rosita “is devastated about the misunderstanding” and that Jodi’s girls have been invited back to the park for “a special meet and greet.”
Jodi Thanks Social Media
Jodi has thanked social media for the countless supportive messages she received since uploading her daughters’ experiences at Sesame Place.
In a series of posts uploaded on her Instagram Stories on July 17 and July 18, the mother said she won’t “be quiet about this blatant disrespect to my babies.”
“I’ll definitely be sharing your kind words and showing the support you guys are showing to the girls so they understand some people are disgusting human beings but there is still a lot of love in the world,” Jodi wrote. “I really appreciate the love and support for the girls! I let them know that so many people have their backs!”
The mother also claimed Sesame Place’s statement was “released to save face.”
Jodi said she doesn’t believe the family next to her asked Rosita for a photo, and that the theme park’s statement only added “insult to injury.”
While the mother shared that a manager reached out to her to discuss the troubling incident, Jodi said she’s had no communication with Sesame Place since her post went viral.
Moreover, she feels the theme park “should of gave a public apology to [her] girls” instead of issuing a blanket apology.
“The character could’ve just waved to everyone or just kept walking,” Jodi wrote. “But to blatantly look at my kids and say no! I’m not expecting that. Don’t try to tell me he can’t see lower levels. He looked at them and said no!! So embarrassing and hurtful.”