Sesame Place: Viral Parade Video Not What It Looks Like

Rosita did not purposely ignore Black girls, theme park says
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2022 1:00 AM CDT
Sesame Place: Viral Parade Video Not What It Looks Like
Big Bird is shown on a sign near an entrance to Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa., Dec. 26, 2019.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

In a video shared widely on social media, a Sesame Place employee dressed as the Sesame Street character Rosita appears to ignore two young Black girls as they reached out to her. Worse, she first appears to waggle her fingers 'no' at them before moving on, and their mother says in the caption that she went on to hug "the little white girl next to us." Now, the Philadelphia-area theme park is explaining. "The performer portraying the Rosita character has confirmed that the 'no' hand gesture seen several times in the video was not directed to any specific person, rather it was a response to multiple requests from someone in the crowd who asked Rosita to hold their child for a photo, which is not permitted. The Rosita performer did not intentionally ignore the girls and is devastated about the misunderstanding," it says in a statement.

The amusement park also said the character costumes sometimes make it difficult for performers to see what's going on at a child's height. It says it has reached out to the family to offer a private meet-and-greet with all the characters in the park. The video was even referenced by Kelly Rowland in an Instagram story, BuzzFeed reports. "Did you see that baby’s face at the end? The little one with the pink on? She deserves an explanation," the Destiny's Child singer said. (More Sesame Street stories.)

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