For decades, Sesame Street has been a beloved children’s program. It first aired in the 1960s and continues to produce new episodes to this day.
If fact, toys, books, merchandise, and even theme parks have been inspired by the show. However, one of those parks is now facing a massive lawsuit for being unfriendly to children.
According to CNN, a Black family who says that many costumed characters neglected a 5-year-old Black girl at a meet-and-greet session last month has sued Sesame Place Philadelphia on behalf of a character actor in a $25 million class action lawsuit, over claims of racial discrimination. They are suing SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, the organization that owns Sesame Place.
Quinton Burns claims in court documents that during a meet-and-greet, the characters avoided interacting with his three children. He claims that the entertainers were exclusively interested in the white kids.
Burns asserts that not just his family was disregarded. Other Black visitors, according to him, were similarly disregarded.
Defendants in the action include the character performed who was involved in the snub. They had dressed themselves as Sesame Street characters Telly Monster, Elmo, Ernie, and Abby Cadabby.
According to the lawsuit, SeaWorld knew in advance that the four performers exhibited racial prejudices yet nonetheless permitted them to contact visitors.
Malcolm Ruff, one of the family’s attorneys, demanded transparency from SeaWorld and compensation for the Burns family during a press conference on Wednesday. The lawsuit was brought to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania District Court.
Burns is asking SeaWorld to publicly apologize to Black Americans and take action to lessen racial intolerance among its employees in addition to winning a million dollars.
The lawsuit was filed just a few weeks after Sesame Place received internet criticism for a comparable event.
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