The video depicts the actress portraying Rosita past the kids and reaching out to another girl, who their attorney claimed was white, to give her what looks to be a hug.
The family’s attorney argues that newly released footage contradicts Sesame Place Philadelphia’s initial denials following the incident and appears to show a character denying two young Black girls interaction while introducing others to them.
The next development in what the family claims was a blatant instance of racial discrimination against the 6-year-olds is the release of the new footage. The New York family’s attorney, B’Ivory LaMarr, had hinted at the release of the new film on Wednesday, claiming it would demonstrate that the performer purposefully neglected the girls.
The video depicts the Rosita persona reaching out to another girl, who LaMarr claimed was white, and giving her what seems to be a hug after passing the other girls.
“We think it’s time to call it what it is at this point. And if it’s unacceptable, you must publicly declare that it is unacceptable and that this was a racist conduct, according to LaMarr.
The Black girls can be seen enthusiastically reaching out to the character in the original video. The video appears to show the character shaking their head “no” in the direction of the two girls, despite the fact that it appears that the performer interacted with other kids before approaching them.
Initially, Sesame Place said that the performer’s costume might have obscured the audience’s view of the girls and that the character’s “no” motion in the first video was not directed especially at the girls. The action, according to the park, was performed in response to several requests from a crowd member asking Rosita to hold their child for an improper photo.
They stated, as reported by media from all around the nation, that Rosita was asked to hold a child that another person was holding. Based on what we think the latest video shows, we feel that was entirely incorrect, LaMarr added.
When NBC10 contacted the theme park on Friday on the new video, the park directed them to a statement in which it expressed its “wholehearted” regret to the family and stated that the girls’ ordeal was “unacceptable” and “antithetical to our beliefs, principles, and purpose.”
To give visitors a “equitable” and “inclusive” experience, the park said that it was examining its procedures and requiring required training for all staff members.
“We are dedicated to gathering as much information as we can from this circumstance to effect real change. Sesame Place stated, “We want every child who visits our park to feel included, seen, and inspired.
More than 150 families have contacted LaMarr and his legal team since the event, he said at a press conference on Saturday afternoon with well-known civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, citing similar behavior by park entertainers.
The performer must be dismissed, according to the mother and aunt of the girls. LaMarr claimed that Sesame Place should be required to pay for any costs associated with the girls’ mental health because they are currently experiencing “serious emotional suffering.”
Sesame Place owner SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment executives have been in discussions with Crump and LaMarr, according to Crump, about how to treat the girls fairly and make SeaWorld “a better organization.” In order to be respectful of all the youngsters who visit their parks, he further urged the executives to assess whether there is sufficient diversity and equity “at the highest levels of the organization.”
After the press conference on Saturday, NBC10 requested comments from SeaWorld and Sesame Place. Sesame Place referred NBC10 back to its prior apology while SeaWorld did not respond.
A few protesters were at the theme park in Bucks County on Saturday due to the situation.
“This habit will persist because it originates from the top down. That costume’s wearer is not who it is. The individuals who control Sesame Place must be changed, not them, one man told NBC10.
Two demonstrators from New Jersey were detained by police for disorderly conduct and highway obstruction. The guys received summary citations, according to the Middletown Township Police Department, and were then freed.