The most viral incident occurred at Seaworld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.-run Sesame Place in Pennsylvania. Two little girls waited patiently for a hug from Rosita, who shook her finger at them and ran away after giving high fives to everyone else in line. The girls are wearing Sesame Street backpacks and appear confused and sad when Rosita dismisses them:
#BabyPaige & her cute lil friends went to@SesamePlace this weekend to celebrate Paige’s 4th birthday & this is how #SesamePlace treated these beautiful Black children. I’m HOT.
#BabyPaige & her cute lil friends went to @SesamePlace this weekend to celebrate Paige's 4th birthday & this is how #SesamePlace treated these beautiful Black children. I'm HOT. pic.twitter.com/wATjpRzUF1
— Confident and she lethal (@LeslieMac) July 17, 2022
Sesame Place released a statement after the event, claiming that the Rosita performer was shaking her finger at another family who asked her to hold their baby, which is against the Theme Park’s rules. The performer said they were saddened by the event and didn’t see the little girls because of low visibility in the Rosita costume. Journalist Ashley Carter shared the statement on Twitter:
I try not to react to things before I get more information. But more videos have surfaced showing how @SesamePlace characters interact w/ certain children, and it’s clear that the park should take a closer look at this and do more than issue statements like this:
I try not to react to things before I get more information. But more videos have surfaced showing how @SesamePlace characters interact w/ certain children, and it's clear that the park should take a closer look at this and do more than issue statements like this: pic.twitter.com/z2m7AKykFX
— Ashley Carter (@AshleyLCarter1) July 18, 2022
As troubling as this incident was, it became more serious when more videos resurfaced of racism at the various Sesame Street Theme Parks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; San Diego, California; and SeaWorld Orlando, Florida. The family claimed that Sesame Place lied in their statement and never offered them a special meet-and-greet. They later hired an attorney to file a lawsuit against SeaWorld Parks & Resorts, Inc.
The incident not only inspired others to share their stories of racial discrimination at Sesame Place but other Theme Parks, including Disneyland Park. @lo.ondabluff shared a video on Instagram of her child seemingly being ignored by Rapunzel at Disneyland Resort, writing:
Please repost this racist a** s*** kids shouldn’t have to go thru this in 2022 our money spends kust like there’s just for them to treat our kids like they don’t belong
In the video, Rapunzel ignores a Black family that waited to meet her, and a Cast Member refuses to stop Rapunzel for the family. However, Rapunzel greets other families further along in the Park, indicating that she wasn’t done meeting Guests for the day and easily could’ve greeted the family. The family even mentions the incident at Sesame Place to the Cast Member.
This week, another Disney Parks character interaction went viral on Twitter and TikTok, this time in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. @SomaKazima shared the video on Twitter:
Woody said nah b***h get over here, we ain’t finna get canceled ❗️❗️😭😭😭
Woody said nah bitch get over here, we ain't finna get canceled ❗️❗️😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/VWHLIS1ZQw
— Ichigo Niggasake (@SomaKazima) August 3, 2022
A Black family is watching a parade in Liberty Square when Jessie and Woody from Toy Story (1995) walk by. Their young daughter is dressed in an adorable cowgirl dress, similar to Jessie’s pants, and the family is waving to get Jessie’s attention. Woody sees the little girl’s outfit and motions to them to wait. After Woody gets her attention, Jessie runs over to the little girl, hugs her, and blows lots of kisses before continuing on her parade route.
The video received nearly 400,000 likes, over 50,000 retweets, and thousands of replies. @JCubDrewIt received over 50,000 likes after he brought up the Sesame Place incident, writing:
“Jessie…Jessie!! Jessica get your mf a** over there and hug a black baby before they Sesame Street our a***s”
“Jessie…Jessie!! Jessica get your mf ass over there and hug a black baby before they Sesame Street our asses”
— Jake the 🐍 (@JCubDrewIt) August 3, 2022
Woody and Jessie did a great job ensuring this little girl had positive memories of her Walt Disney World Resort vacation!
This article has been updated since its publication.