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A Baltimore, Maryland family, with the help of three law firms, is suing Sesame Place’s parent company for $25 million after recording employees dressed as muppets allegedly snubbing their daughter. The class action lawsuit against SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment was filed on July 27, 2022.
On June 18, Quinton Burns and his wife and 5-year-old daughter, Kennedi, went to the theme park in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In the video, it appears that the Ernie character intentionally snubbed Burns’ little girl’s raised hand while high-fiving the white children nearby. Then the Telli monster character comes over and does the same thing to Kennedi. After both instances, the little girl looks back at her family with a sad face.
During a press conference, the father stated, “I’m hurt, devastated, my wife and me. Just looking at her face, it makes me wanna cry every time I see it.” Mart Harris from the law firm Murphy, Falcon & Murphy took the podium after Burns.
“We want to punish Seaworld because they know what happened was wrong. And we’re sure that we are going to find this was indeed a pattern that they were aware of. They just didn’t care,” Harris stated. All three law firms say the video recording will prove what they claim.
Last week, Jodi Brown took her two 6-year-olds (her daughter and niece) to Sesame Place. In her family video, people can see the Rosita character blatantly telling the two Black girls no and then proceeding to hug and interact with white children.
The law firms representing the Burns family have asked that any families, who experienced similar racial discrimination from Sesame Place Philidelphia characters, please contact them.
The Maryland family came forward after Brown’s video went viral. Their $25 million lawsuit alleges four employees dressed as Sesame Street characters ignored Burns’ daughter and other Black guests.
Malcolm Ruff, one of the family’s lawyers, stated, “The reason they didn’t get the experience that they paid and contracted to get was simply because of their race.” Adding:
We stand here before you today simply trying to fight and protect little Black children and their fundamental civil rights.
Many people are disgusted by the many videos showing characters seemingly ignoring Black children while paying attention to white children. One person tweeted, “Systemic racism doesn’t end just because someone puts on [a] furry costume.”
Written by Sheena Robertson
ABC 7 News: Baltimore family sues Sesame Place for $25M alleging racial discrimination
NPR: Sesame Place apologizes after video shows 2 Black girls being passed over at a parade
CBS 3 Philly: Sesame Place Apologizes After Viral Video Appears To Show Mascot Refusing To High-Five 2 Young Black Girls
New York Post: New video shows Sesame Place characters ignoring young black girl, family suing for $25M