A new video shows Sesame Place characters ignoring a young black girl, suing the family for $25 million

A new video released Thursday shows the moment a 5-year-old black girl was allegedly ignored at Sesame Place by several park staff dressed as characters during a meet-and-greet event last month.

Quinton Burns, the girl’s father, has filed a $25 million class action lawsuit against SeaWorld Parks, owner of Sesame Place, for “rampant and appalling racial discrimination,” after claiming that his daughter, Kennedy, had been ignored.

The video, posted by the law firm representing the Baltimore family, shows an employee dressed as Telly Monster walking along the street while other characters dance in the street.

The character of Telly appears to offer her hand to shake hands with a young spectator, but it is a blow by Kennedy, who also extended her hand.

The girl then turns to the camera and frowns, obviously confused and perturbed by what just happened.

A little black girl reaches out to shake hands with Ernie in Sesame Garden but he walks past her.
A Sesame Place employee dressed as Ernie last month seemed to ignore 5-year-old Kennedy Burns.
Murphy Falcon Murphy

The video cuts to another employee dressed as Ernie shaking hands with other kids, but not the little black girl because she’s holding out her hand too hard. She turns and says something to the camera, frustrated again.

“Just looking at her face makes me want to cry every time I see her,” Burns said during a press conference with his attorney on Wednesday.

Five-year-old Kennedy Burns looks baffled after the Sesame characters ignore her handshake.
Quinton Burns claimed in a lawsuit that his 5-year-old daughter Kennedy was ignored by costumed figures at Sesame Place because of her race.
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The lawsuit alleges that Kennedy was snubbed by four characters at the June 18 event in a Pennsylvania park because of her race: “The Sea World performers easily engaged several lookalike white clients.”

“We stand here before you today in an effort to fight and protect young black children and their basic civil rights,” attorney Malcolm Raff told reporters.

“She was ignored amidst a sea of ​​other young white babies who were able to interact, hug, and babysit,” Rove said.

Rove said Burns called his law firm after seeing a viral clip showing two other black girls from New York who allegedly twice favored white kids in the crowd during a military parade.

    A 5-year-old lion was ignored at Sesame Place by Telly Monster
Five-year-old Kennedy Burns reaches out to shake hands with Telly Monster, but does not get a handshake.
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“Kennedy was forced to experience racism at the age of five,” Rove said. “This is unacceptable and we will not stand by and let this continue.”

Lawyers representing the New York family told CBS they are not part of this lawsuit.

Sesame Place said in a statement that it is reviewing its practices to identify any necessary changes. It also announced that all employees will undergo bias training as a result of the incidents.

“We will review the lawsuit brought on behalf of Mr. Burns,” the park said in a statement to CBS Baltimore. “We look forward to addressing this claim through applicable legal process. We are committed to providing a comprehensive, equitable and entertaining experience for all of our guests.”

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