Family Files $25 Million Lawsuit Against Sesame Place For Racial Discrimination

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Credit: Sesame Place

A Baltimore family has just filed a lawsuit against a Sesame Street theme park over claims of racial discrimination.

Sesame Place in San Diego California
Credit: Sesame Place

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An encounter at Pennsylvania’s Sesame Place amusement park recently sparked massive amounts of criticism after a video showed what appeared to be a racist encounter with a park mascot and two children. Pennsylvania’s Sesame Place is home to a dining experience with Elmo and Friends, over 15 family-friendly rides, a water Park, and entertainment featuring your favorite Sesame Place characters.

The Park has come under fire recently for hidden price increases and now finds itself at the center of an even more pressing controversy and media firestorm. As stated earlier, a concerned mother shared a video of her two daughters watching a parade at Sesame Place, eagerly hoping to get a hug from the Rosita character.

Unfortunately, this is not what happened as the two children were quickly turned down, almost as if they were invisible or purposefully ignored.

Character interactions at Sesame Place
Credit: Sesame Place

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This sparked instant backlash online in spaces like Twitter, with hundreds of users calling the encounter an example of racism. Sesame Place issued a statement and an apology, but many weren’t sure what was said made up for the unfortunate situation.

Since the original incident, more concerning encounters with children have surfaced online, showing a possible pattern of racist and/or problematic behavior at the park. Now, families have filed a major lawsuit against the park.

Sesame Place San Diego entrance
Credit: Sesame Place San Diego

The suit was filed in a federal court in Philadelphia, making a class-action case against SeaWorld Parks, the owner of the Sesame Place, for “pervasive and appalling race discrimination.”

The lawsuit alleges four employees ignored Quinton Burns, his daughter Kennedi Burns and other Black guests during an event on June 18. The lawsuit claims “SeaWorld’s performers readily engaged with numerous similarly situated white customers.”

During a press conference held Wednesday, one of the family’s attorneys, Malcolm Ruff, called for transparency from SeaWorld and for the company to compensate the Burns family. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Have you seen any of the Sesame Place videos?

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