Sesame Place is making changes following several accusations of actors allegedly ignoring Black children.
Over the last several weeks, multiple videos have emerged of actors in costume ignoring young Black kids approaching the characters for photos or interactions. Sesame Place published a statement on Tuesday announcing a new diversity initiative to correct course.
“Sesame Place today announced a series of initiatives as part of an expansion of its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Sesame Place wrote. “Initiatives include a comprehensive racial equity assessment, the development and implementation of an anti-bias training and education program, and enhancements to ensure a best-in-class diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) program. This work will be overseen by national experts.
The program includes a “comprehensive racial equity assessment, anti-bias training and education program, and enhancements to DE&I program.” They said the efforts will be “overseen and conducted by nationally recognized experts.
“The racial equity assessment will include a review of policies, processes, and practices that impact guests, employees, suppliers, and the community to identify opportunities for improvement.”
The statement comes following multiple viral videos online showing Black children seemingly ignored by “Sesame Street” characters at Sesame Place, leading to a lawsuit against the theme park.
“I’m going to keep posting this, because this had me hot,” a mother named Jodi wrote on Instagram.
That video prompted other users to share their experiences.
“Since seeing a few other post like this in the past couple days I figured I should too,” a user captioned a separate video. “Now, I’m not saying Rosita is racist.. but whoever is under this/those masks sure is curving a bunch of brown kids.
“She ignored Lola TWICE last Sunday. Lola ran up to her saying ‘ROSITA!’ The character went out of their way to change course and Immediately after hugged and took a pic with a little white girl. Investigate this pattern, @sesameplace.”