It appears that Rosita has been “canceled” from the Sesame Place theme park. According to the Daily Mail, the character isn’t participating in the park and park elements featuring her are now closed. This comes after a $25 million dollar lawsuit was filed against the park for discrimination.
Rosita is a bilingual monster who comes from Mexico.
Last month there was a video circulating on the internet showing two black girls watching Rosita in a parade. The character does interact with other guests around them and seemingly shakes their hand no at someone else in the crowd then walks away from the girls waving her hand and shaking her head in a “no” fashion.
We must show our Black youth that we will NOT ignore them, unlike the performer at Sesame Place. These kids deserve SO much more than the unjust treatment they were given. They are why we’ll continue to fight for accountability and change! pic.twitter.com/e1dZcdcSqq
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) July 24, 2022
This led to calls for Sesame Place to give an explanation and now a lawsuit. Since the incident Sesame Place has announced it will implement new employee anti-bias training and education. However the family’s lawyer claims there are “deficiencies” with the company’s plan.
The Daily Mail posted that one staff member told them the following:
“With recent events Rosita hasn’t been around much anymore.
She’s been taken off the parade entirely since the racism allegations.
None of the character’s walk the street in the parade any more, and any meet and greets for her have been called off.
That is all because of the allegations, they don’t want anyone potentially making the same claims.
Essentially, Rosita has been cancelled and I don’t think she’ll be back any time soon.’
Another employee indicated that the restaurant featuring the character has been closed:
“The Rosita restaurant has been closed for the last few weeks.
There hasn’t been a real explanation as to why, but staff are assuming it could be to do with the accusations.
The meet and greets have also changed recently but that could also be because of the heat with some other characters.”
It also seems that characters are being told to stay on the floats now.
Since the lawsuit has been filed other families have come forward claiming similar experiences and Sesame Place issued a statement:
“We sincerely apologize to the family for their experience. We know that it’s not okay. We will conduct training for our employees so they better understand, recognize, and deliver an inclusive, equitable, and entertaining experience to our guests.”
The character is not the issue here, as she herself is a minority. If it is as the short clip seems to indicate, the issue is with the person in the costume. Removing representation from other groups isn’t the answer. It doesn’t seem that’s what the family is asking for either. But $25 million does seem excessive.
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