- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 23, 2022

The Congressional Black Caucus is requesting a meeting with the Sesame Place park president and general manager, following reported incidents of racism by park staff.

The Democratic-led group said they want to meet with Cathy Valeriano to discuss plans of action and training programs to help mitigate bias.

“Over the past week, we’ve seen multiple glaring examples of racism coming from the park, including the viral video in which two beautiful little Black girls were blatantly rejected by a character they idolized while white children were embraced,” the members said in a statement.

The request follows a viral video of a Sesame Street character at the Pennsylvania theme park apparently refusing to high-five two Black children, after embracing White families.

Jodi Brown, the mother of the two girls, accused the character of being intentionally racist.

“Right after the character passed them, there was another little girl next to them who was of a different race and [Rosita] hugged her,” Ms. Brown said.

The park apologized for the incident, claiming responsibility for what happened.

“We sincerely and wholeheartedly apologize to the Brown family for what they experienced,” the park said in a statement. “To be very clear, what the two young girls experienced, what the family experienced, is unacceptable. It happened in our park, with our team, and we own that. It is our responsibility to make this better for the children and the family and to be better for all families.”

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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