New Video Surfaces in Sesame Place Controversy – NBC Los Angeles

Newly released video appears to show a character at Sesame Place Philadelphia denying an interaction to two young Black girls while then greeting people next to the pair, a gesture the family’s lawyer says showed racist intent and contradicts the theme park’s original claims following the incident.

The new video is the latest development in what the family says was a clear example of racial discrimination against the 6-year-olds. B’Ivory LaMarr, the lawyer for the New York family, had telegraphed the release of the new video on Wednesday, saying it would show that the performer intentionally ignored the girls.

The video shows that after passing the girls, the character playing Rosita reached toward another girl – who LaMarr said was white – to give her what appears to be a hug.

“We believe at this point we need to call it for what it is. And if it’s unacceptable, you need to come out and say it’s unacceptable and this was a racist act,” LaMarr said.

In the original video, the Black girls are seen excitedly reaching out to the character. Although it appears that the performer had interacted with other children before reaching the girls, the video seems to show the character shaking their head “no” in the direction of the two girls. 

Sesame Place originally said the performer’s costume may have made it difficult to see the girls and that the “no” gesture made by the character in the first video was not specifically aimed at the pair. The gesture, the park said, was made in “response to multiple requests from someone in the crowd who asked Rosita to hold their child for a photo which is not permitted.”

“They indicated, they told journalists all across this country, that there was another individual that was holding a child and they requested Rosita to hold that child. That was completely false based off what we believe the video depicts,” LaMarr said, referencing the latest video.

Asked for comment about the new video on Friday, the theme park pointed NBC10 to a statement saying that it “wholeheartedly” apologized to the family and that what the girls experienced was “unacceptable” and “antithetical to our values, principles and purpose.”

The park said it was reviewing its practices and instituting mandatory training for all employees to deliver an “equitable” and “inclusive” experience to guests.

“We are committed to learning all we can from this situation to make meaningful change. We want every child who comes to our park to feel included, seen and inspired,” Sesame Place said.

Mental health expert Sheila Robinson-Kiss takes her daughter to Sesame Place every summer. When the 10-year-old became aware of social media posts alleging bias against Black children at the theme park, she was heartbroken. In a conversation with LX News host Ashley Holt, Robinson-Kiss shares how she discussed the issue with her daughter and offers advice to other parents.

Since the incident occurred, LaMarr said at a Saturday afternoon press conference alongside prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, more than 150 families have reached out to him and his law firm alleging similar conduct from performers at the park.

The girls’ mother and aunt have demanded the performer be fired. LaMarr said Wednesday that Sesame Place should be made to cover any expenses related to the mental health of the girls, who he said are now dealing with “severe emotional distress.”

Crump said he and LaMarr have been in talks with executives at SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, which owns Sesame Place, about how to do right by the girls and how to ensure SeaWorld becomes “a better company.” He also called on the executives to examine whether there is enough diversity and equity “at the highest levels of the company so they can be respectful of all the children that visit their parks.”

In a statement released Saturday afteroon, Sesame Place apologized to the Brown family and added that the park “is taking action to deliver a more equitable and inclusive experience.”

Here’s the complete statement:

“We sincerely and wholeheartedly apologize to the Brown family for what they experienced.  To be very clear, what the two young girls experienced, what the family experienced, is unacceptable. It happened in our park, with our team, and we own that. It is our responsibility to make this better for the children and the family and to be better for all families.

We have been in contact with the family since Sunday morning and have spoken with their lawyers as recently as today. We have offered to meet the family and their attorneys in person to personally deliver an apology and an acknowledgement that we are holding ourselves accountable for what happened. We want to listen to them to understand how the experience impacted their family and to understand what we can do better for them and all guests who visit our parks. We are committed to learning all we can from this situation to make meaningful change. We want every child who comes to our park to feel included, seen and inspired.

We are taking action and are reviewing our practices to identify necessary changes, both in the immediate and long-term. We are instituting mandatory training for all our employees so that we can better recognize, understand, and deliver an inclusive, equitable and entertaining experience for all our guests. We have engaged with nationally recognized experts in this area.

We take this extremely seriously. We are heartbroken by what these young girls and this family experienced in our park. It is antithetical to our values, principles, and purpose.  We are committed to working tirelessly and intentionally to make this situation better. We will do the necessary work for the long haul — not just in the public eye, but also behind the scenes and within ourselves.”

Source link

Denial of responsibility! insideheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Source: News