Isn't Sesame Street supposed to welcome everyone? Don't tell me that even Sesame Street is following the New York trend of gentrification. One of the primary elements that helped catapult Sesame Street to success was the ethnic diversity of the show. Matt Robinson's Gordon was a beloved character on the series in the 70s, and Sesame Street recently added two new Black Muppets to help children understand racial issues. Diversity is baked into Sesame Street's identity as much as puppets and educational entertainment. That's why the shocking viral video of a Sesame Place employee ignoring Black children caused a stir.
The internet went crazy, and rightfully so, when a video of a costumed mascot, based on the character Rosita, ignored two little Black girls. The video prompted responses from several Black celebrities that were outraged by the incident and took to social media to voice their concerns. As a result, Sesame Workshop has spoken about the video and promised to implement training to weed out racial bias in their performers.
Sesame Place posted an initial response to its Instagram account on Sunday evening, explaining that the costumes sometimes inhibit performers' sightlines, and that the employee portraying Rosita's "no" gesture was a general response declining requests to hold children for photos, which is against park policy. "We spoke to the family and extended our apologies and invited them back for a special meet-and-greet opportunity with our characters," the statement said.