Black Caucus wants changes after Sesame Place viral video
(The Hill) — The Congressional Black Caucus is requesting to meet with the head of the “Sesame Street”-themed amusement park, Sesame Place, after a video that showed a costumed character ignoring two young Black girls went viral.
“Sesame Street is one of the nation’s highest-rated TV shows that, at one time, more than 95 percent of all American Preschoolers watched,” the caucus said in a release Saturday. “So, naturally, Sesame Place should be where all children can go to have fun and celebrate. Sadly, that has not been the case.”
The mother of the two girls posted the video on Instagram earlier this week, showing the character “Rosita” giving high-fives as they walk in a parade but appearing to wave off the two girls.
The mother wrote that the character then hugged a white girl immediately thereafter. The video has received more than 880,000 views as of Saturday afternoon.
The caucus, led by its chairwoman, Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), said it wants to meet with Park President and General Manager Cathy Valeriano to discuss changes, plans of action and training that the park plans to implement. The statement recognizes that Sesame Place has issued a formal apology but states that the caucus is requesting a meeting given the “gravity of the situation and lack of responsibility at all levels.”
The caucus said that it represents 80 million Americans overall and 17 million Black Americans, and “Sesame Street” plays an “integral” role for many of the children its members represent.
“The show reaches young children in all demographics, with a particular impact on economically disadvantaged children, and families of color should know they will be welcomed at any institution that carries the Sesame Street name,” the statement reads.
Sesame Place did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.
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