$25 million lawsuit filed in US for not shaking hands with black children in park
A Baltimore family has filed a $25 million lawsuit over racial discrimination at the Sesame Street theme park in Philadelphia. A park employee dressed as the hero of the show refused to greet the black girls.
The American media write about it.
According to the lawsuit, Quinton Burns and his 5-year-old daughter Kennedy were discriminated against while visiting a theme park on Father’s Day, June 18. Also affected were “all other black guests” who attended the event.
The law firm handling the Burns case will also file a class-action discrimination lawsuit.
“We were shocked and dismayed that actors in costume tarnished the great name of an American brand called Sesame Street, no less famous than baseball and apple pie,” lawyer Malcolm Ruff said.
The reason for the lawsuit was the moment caught on video when a man dressed as Rosita ignores two black girls. To other children, Rosita waves and shakes her hand, and when black girls reach out to her, she makes a negative gesture with her head and leaves.
The video was posted on Instagram by the mother of one of the girls, who is also the aunt of the second child. It went viral.
The woman who posted the video called the incident disgusting and said she would never have her foot in a theme park again.
In response, the park released a statement saying, in part: “Our brand, our park, and our employees stand for inclusion and equality in all forms. This is the essence of Sesame Street, and we will not tolerate behavior in our parks that is contrary to that commitment.”
The park went on to explain that “the costumes our artists wear sometimes make it difficult to see below, and sometimes our artists miss requests for hugs from guests.” They added that the man dressed as Rosita “didn’t intentionally ignore the girls.”
“We sincerely apologize to the family for the experience. We know this is not normal. We will provide training to our staff to better understand, recognize and provide an inclusive, fair and fun experience for our guests,” the statement said.