Mother Of Girl Shunned By Sesame Place Character Demands Firing Of ‘Rosita’ Performer

Multiple families have come forward with similar experiences, suggesting a pattern of racist behavior, her attorney says.

Jodi Brown, the Black woman who posted a viral video on Saturday (July 16) that appears to show a Sesame Place character shunning her daughter and niece, has rejected the theme parks’ explanation of what happened, as more Black parents come forward with videos of similar experiences, CBS News reports. She has hired an attorney who is calling for the employee to be fired.

Brown demands accountability for what she believes was a racist encounter in which the person wearing the “Rosita” costume waved off her daughter and niece’s request for a hug.

Brown’s video appears to show the Rosita character high-fiving white people during a parade at the Philadelphia-area theme park. The two Black girls waited their turn and excitedly reach out to Rosita for a hug and high-five. But the person in the Rosita costume gestured “no” toward them and walked away, leaving the girls in shock by the apparent rejection.

Brown told CBS that the girls wanted to know if they did something wrong. "I had to explain to them, 'You didn't do anything. It's okay. I'm going to speak to a manager and find out why it happened,'" she said, adding that the girls were "sad" and "heartbroken."

RELATED: Kelly Rowland on ‘Sesame Street’ Controversy: “This Just Made Me So Mad!”

Sesame Place released a statement on Monday (July 18) saying that it does not tolerate discrimination and explained that the costumes often “make it difficult to see at lower levels.” As for the “no” gesture, the theme park said the performer was responding to a request to hold a baby for a photograph, which is not allowed.

Brown said Sesame Place’s explanation is inaccurate. "No, standing next to me, there wasn't anyone asking them to hold a child or take a photo," she told CBS.

Meanwhile, reports that at least two more videos have surfaced on social media that purport to show the Rosita character ignoring Black kids but hugging and interacting with people of other races.

B’Ivory Lamarr, Brown’s attorney, is calling for a sincere apology.

"We believe Sesame Place made a gross mistake in their first statement," Lamarr told CBS. "We believe their assertions are completely false and we believe we have evidence to refute that."

However, an apology is just a first step toward a resolution, he says. Full accountability includes taking responsibility for the psychological harm to the girls, as well as addressing what he believes could be a pattern of racist behavior. He said at least 20 other families have contacted him about similar experiences at the theme park.

Lamarr, who also represented Jacob Blake, the Wisconsin man who was seriously wounded by a police officer, said the theme park should terminate the employee in the Rosita costume. "We believe that there is no room for racism to exist at any theme park," he stated.

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