We all know Elmo is one ticklish motherfucker, but is he racist too? Well, maybe he isn’t, but it appears some of his friends could be.
Sesame Street is now facing a $25 million lawsuit for racial discrimination after an unhappy father witnessed his 5-year-old daughter be completely ignored by roaming characters at the theme park Sesame Place.
Quinton Burns filed a class-action lawsuit against SeaWorld Parks, the owner of Sesame Place, for “pervasive and appalling race discrimination.” He claims that four separate characters refused to interact with his daughter in any capacity, while high-fiving and hugging white children around her.
In a video released by Burns lawyer, there is clear evidence of two Sesame characters actively engaging with young white children, while never even attempting to make contact with Kennedi Burns’ outstretched hand.
While it’s possible that this mistake was not intentional, evidence of similar circumstances was shared to social media by a completely different upset parent who also witnessed their child be blatantly ignored. Jodi Brown posted a clip of Rosita, one of the characters, neglecting to show any sort of affection towards her 6-year-old daughter and niece. In the short video, you can see Rosita high-five several white children and even an adult before profusely waving off the two small black children.
The two incidents captured on camera soon went viral over the internet, sparking outrage from upset parents of children of all races. The backlash soon turned into protests held by distinguished activist Jamal Johnson.
Johnson, who became well-known for orchestrating a march from Pennsylvania to Washington D.C last year to protest gun reform, organized a rally outside of the theme park this past Saturday condemning the actions of the park and its characters. “It’s obvious that we still have obvious racial discrimination in 2022,” Johnson said. “Our children are being traumatized already back home in our communities with this gun violence. Now they have to come here and be traumatized, too.”
It’s somewhat surprising to see Sesame Street being labeled as “racist” considering they have taken so many inclusive procedures in the past, such as releasing a character with autism, an Afghan character that supports women’s rights, and even an HIV-positive character. Yep, those are all real.
While a court date has not yet been set, legal proceedings are in order.