Multiple people have made allegations of racial insensitivity against Sesame Place in Bucks County after a video posted over the weekend spread on social media.
A video posted on Instagram shows the Rosita character refusing to interact with two Black children. The post’s description says the character hugged a white child just before walking past the Black children.
In a statement provided by Sesame Place to WHYY News, the theme park says it will take actions to “do better,” including training employees to “deliver an inclusive, equitable, and entertaining experience.”
“We sincerely apologize to the family for their experience in our park on Saturday; we know that it’s not ok. We are taking actions to do better. We are committed to making this right. We will conduct training for our employees so they better understand, recognize and deliver an inclusive, equitable and entertaining experience to our guests. For over 40 years Sesame Place has worked to uphold the values of respect, inclusion and belonging. We are committed to doing a better job making children and families feel special, seen and included when they come to our parks.”
That statement differs from what the theme park said immediately following the incident over the weekend. At that time, Sesame Place said in a statement that the costumes can impair the performers’ vision and that Rosita was actually responding to an attendee’s request to hold their child for a photo, which is not permitted by the theme park.
The weekend incident isn’t the first to draw national attention to the Bucks County theme park.
In 2019, a white park guest was recorded using racist language, cursing at and raising her middle finger toward a Black woman while they waiting in line for a ride.
Multiple videos depicting similar incidents involving Rosita and other Sesame Street characters have also been posted online.
According to TMZ, the family of the two Black children depicted in the video is consulting lawyers to determine if a lawsuit will be filed.