Kelly Rowland has spoken out on a viral video in which two young Black girls are given the cold shoulder by a “Sesame Street” character at the popular children’s show theme park, Sesame Place.
In the video, shared by an outraged mother on Instagram, the woman’s two Black daughters are completely ignored by the Rosita character as they visibly outstretch their arms for a high-five during the parade. One of the girls turns towards her mother with a disappointed expression on her face.
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“THIS DISGUSTING person blatantly told our kids NO then proceeded to hug the little white girl next to us!” the angry mother called out the Philadelphia park online. “Then when I went to complain about it, they looking at me like I’m crazy. I asked the lady who the character was and I wanted to see a supervisor and she told me SHE DIDNT KNOW!!”
Rowland shared the video to her Story, slamming Sesame Place and reacted to the incident in a followup video.
“Had that been me… that whole parade would have been in flames,” she said before questioning the racist behaviour. “Like, are you serious? You’re not going to speak to my child?” Rowland concluded her rant by stating that the little girls deserve an explanation.
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Hours later, Sesame Place issued a statement, which many people thought fell short.
“The Rosita performer did not intentionally ignore the girls and is devastated about the misunderstanding,” the theme park claimed. Apparently the costumes that their performers wear “sometimes make it difficult to see at lower levels” and “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.”
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After the mother shared that she’ll never step foot in Sesame Place again and asked that they return her money, the theme park confirmed in their statement that they’d spoken to the family to apologize to them and invite them back for a special meet-and-greet.
However, the apology appears to be more of a defensive statement, in which many feel as though they have not taken responsibility for that happened, calling it “a lie” and saying “that employee needs to be fired.”