Sesame Place removes character as racism trial unfolds

Sesame Place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is removing all traces of Rosita’s character from its park as it handles a $25 million lawsuit in which a costumed employee is accused of racism towards black children.

Attractions and restaurants with Rosita’s face have reportedly been closed since the incident. Rosita has also been banned from meeting and greeting the daily parade, according to Sesame Place staffers who spoke with Daily mail.

“With recent events, Rosita isn’t around much anymore,” a staff member told the outlet. “She has been removed from the parade entirely since the racism allegations.”

“None of the characters are walking down the street in the parade anymore, and any meet and greets for her have been cancelled,” the staffer continued. “It’s all because of the allegations, they don’t want anyone potentially making the same claims.”

“Essentially Rosita has been canceled and I don’t think she’ll be back anytime soon,” the staffer added.

Another Sesame Place staff member said Daily mail “Rosita restaurant has been closed for a few weeks.

‘There was no real explanation as to why, but staff assume it could be related to the charges,’ the staff member added. “Meetings and greetings have also changed recently, but that could also be due to the heat with other characters.”

Other staff members, however, claimed that the characters were rotated for meet and greets, and not all appeared on the parade.

Stores selling Sesame Street products also appear to have removed items featuring Rosita or have fewer on display, Daily mail reports.

Last month, Sesame Place was hit with a $25 million racial discrimination lawsuit after a costumed employee dressed as Rosita was seen on video appearing to ignore black children.

Watch below:

Sesame Place Philadelphia initially responded by issuing a statement insisting that “the costumes our performers wear sometimes make it difficult to see at lower levels and sometimes our performers miss hug requests from guests,” adding that the employee dressed as Rosita “did not intentionally ignore the girls.”

“Our brand, our fleet and our people stand for inclusivity and equality in all its forms,” the statement added. “That’s what it’s all about and we don’t tolerate any behavior in our parks that goes against that commitment.”

But following a flurry of criticism over the initial statement — as well as the video of the employee appearing to snub black children — Sesame Place Philadelphia released a follow-up statement saying the incident was “not okay.”

“We sincerely apologize to the family for their experience,” the statement read. “We know it’s not right. We will organize training for our employees so that they better understand, recognize and provide an inclusive, fair and entertaining experience for our customers.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangeloand on Instagram.


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