Sesame Place Promises Bias Training After Viral Video Incident – ​​The Hollywood Reporter

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind sesame streetresponded to a viral video that appears to depict a racial bias incident that took place in Philadelphia’s Sesame Place over the weekend.

Sunday morning, digital strategist Leslie Mac posted a video to Twitter about her daughter Paige’s 4th birthday celebration this weekend. In the nine-second clip, Paige and another little girl, both black, stand on the sidelines of the parade of characters and reach out to a performer dressed in a Rosita costume. Rosita greets the other park visitors before waving to Paige and her friend, shaking her head as she turns away from them.

“This is how #SesamePlace treated these beautiful black kids,” Mac captioned the video, which has garnered 7.3 million views as of press time. As the video went viral on Monday, other people started sharing similar videos Sesame Place characters appear to ignore black children while interacting with others.

The incident caught the attention of several Hollywood personalities. “These gorgeous girls will never forget this feeling!” Kelly Rowland wrote in a response on Sesame Place’s Instagram account, while Audra McDonald tweeted“It’s absolutely disgusting.”

“Every black woman was once a little black girl who made that face when the current situation for us in America broke her heart for the first time,” tweeted Yvette Nicole Brown, while Wendell Pierce share that disillusionment can also happen to boys: “Looking [this moment] reminds me of mine. 4 years old on Mardi Gras day being denied the joy I see other children having and the realization of the horrible reality.

Sesame Square posted a first answer on her Instagram account on Sunday night, explaining that costumes sometimes get in the way of performers’ sightlines, and that the employee depicting Rosita’s “no” gesture was a general response denying requests to detain children for photos, which which is against park policy. “We have spoken to the family and apologized and invited them back for a special occasion to meet our characters,” the statement read.

But Mac said that did not arrive. “This statement is the first and only time the family has heard of this offer and Sesame Place has cut off email communications,” she said. tweeted. “The whole statement is a lie.”

Late Monday afternoon, Sesame Workshop – who were careful to note that Sesame Place is an approved partner – stepped in. “What these children have gone through is unacceptable,” it read. his statement on social networks. “We have been in contact with Sesame Place, our licensed park partner, and they have assured us that they will be conducting bias training and a thorough review of how they interact with families and guests.”

Minutes after the nonprofit released its statement, Sesame Place Philadelphia followed up with a new pinned tweet“We sincerely apologize to the family for their experience at our park on Saturday; we know that’s not right. We will organize training for our employees so that they understand, recognize and provide an inclusive, fair and fun experience for our customers.

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