After a video went viral of two Black girls being snubbed by a performer, families are seeking damages for the emotional harm done.
Just weeks after a video surfaced and went viral of two young Black girls being dismissed by the turquoise character Rosita at Sesame Place, the Philadelphia theme park is now being sued for racial discrimination. The $25 million class action lawsuit filed Wednesday names Quintin Burns, who says that he and his family attended the park on June 18.
Burns said that he purchased tickets for himself and his daughter with the expectation of “meet and greets” with the characters, but when they came into contact with Elmo, Ernie, Telly Monster, and Abby Cadabby during a parade, the costumed performers did not interact with Burns, his daughter or other Black guests, while actively engaging with white attendees.
TMZ reports that the park is in talks with the family of the girls from the video; their parents are considering legal action as well.
A rep for Sesame Place told the site, “We will review the lawsuit filed on behalf of Mr. Burns. We look forward to addressing that claim through the established legal process. We are committed to deliver an inclusive, equitable and entertaining experience for all our guests.” Baltimore civil rights lawyer Billy Murphy Jr., who’s representing Burns, said that Burns’ daughter was “devastated” and would need professional help to understand and process the incident. In the meantime, they are calling on anyone with similar experiences from July 27, 2018, the date the statute of limitations would allow for, to the present to join the suit.