Baltimore family files racial discrimination suit against Sesame Place
New video of Sesame Place incident where Quinton Burns says his daughter Kennedi Burns was snubbed by the Telly Monster character.
A family from Baltimore, Maryland, filed a $25 million federal civil rights lawsuit on Wednesday accusing the Philadelphia-area theme park Sesame Place of racial discrimination after a video went viral showing someone dressed as the Rosita character apparently denying two Black girls a hug during a parade.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleges that four unnamed employees dressed as various Sesame Street characters ignored Quinton Burns, his daughter Kennedi Burns and other Black guests during the meet-and-greet on June 18.
It says other Black guests also had their 14th Amendment rights violated on other instances, and the alleged discrimination targeted "several different Black children on different days" and involved the characters ignoring Black children "while openly interacting with similarly situated White children."
"SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment LLC, engages in pervasive and appalling race discrimination against children in the operation of Sesame Place Philadelphia," according to the 21-page filing.
SESAME PLACE ACCUSED OF RACISM AFTER MOM POSTS VIDEO OF ROSITA CHARACTER DENYING BLACK DAUGHTERS HUG AT PARADE
The incident with the Rosita character involved a different Black family. Jodi Brown posted a nine-second video to social media on July 16 showing the performer apparently snubbing her two daughters during a parade. The video quickly went viral, and notable figures including civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who secured the family of George Floyd the record $27 million civil settlement from the city of Minneapolis amid the trial for former police officer Derek Chauvin, and Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland, shared it on their massive platforms voicing their outcry.