A Black family in a viral video of Toy Story characters giving their child a warm embrace at Disney World said all Black children should experience that. Their video arrived after a Philadelphia Black family’s video went viral after Sesame Street characters blatantly ignored a Black child trying to greet them.
In a video, a young Black girl named Hayyn is calling the Toy Story character over to her while at Disney World. Jessie couldn’t hear her. Woody then went over to her and pointed her in Haynn’s direction. Jessie runs over to her and gives her a big hug. Her parents, Harold and Candice, told TMZ that Hayyn was waiting for Jessie the whole parade. She was even wearing a dress with Woody and Jessie on the front. Harold and Candice told told TMZ that “everyone’s child deserves at least some kind of acknowledgment.”
A $25 million class action civil rights lawsuit was filed against Sesame Place’s parent company SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, CNN reported. In the lawsuit, they accused Sesame Place characters dressed as Ernie, Telly Monster, Elmo and Abby Cadabby of intentionally not acknowledging their child during a “Meet and Greet” event.
“We stand before you here today simply trying to fight and protect little Black children and their fundamental civil rights,” the Burns’ family attorney Malcolm Ruff said during a news conference.
In a statement, Sesame Place said they “are committed to deliver an inclusive, equitable and entertaining experience for all our guests.”
“This class action lawsuit demonstrates that SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment LLC, engages in pervasive and appalling race discrimination against children in the operation of Sesame Place Philadelphia,” read the class action lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, they are asking that Sesame Place employees formerly apologize to Black Americans, provide existing employees with mandatory cultural sensitivity training and conduct psychological screenings to avoid hiring racially bigoted employees in the future. They are also requesting employees attend classes “on the history of discrimination against Black people in America provided by a mutually agreed nationally acclaimed expert in the field of African and Black History and Culture.”