Sometimes “sorry” isn’t enough, and a prime example of this is the response of Sesame Place to the controversy over the recent incident that took place at their theme park’s parade in Philadelphia.
For context, in a viral video, we can see two little Black girls attempting to interact with the Rosita character during the event, only to be ignored. Meanwhile, the character interacted with an adult (which can be seen on the video) and other children, all who were not Black, according to the mother of the girls. The situation has received nationwide attention, and responses from everyone, including stars like Kelly Rowland.
The singer and actress shared how outraged she was by the incident via her Instagram Stories shortly after the video surfaced, saying if it were her, “the whole parade would have been in flames.” Sesame Place apologized and claimed it was a misunderstanding because the character couldn’t see the girls and was saying no to another parent who wanted Rosita to hold their baby. However, multiple Black families went on to share videos showing similar experiences with their children being ignored at other Sesame Place parades.
Rowland spoke out again on the red carpet at Jordan Peele’s Los Angeles premiere of Nope this week, asking, “Did you see that ridiculous apology that they had?”
“I was livid,” Rowland told ET‘s Kevin Frazier. “And I know, me personally, I would’ve burned the place down. I’ve said it before and I really mean it.”
The brand has since stated that they’re going to take measures to train staff and said they’ve invited the family back to the park. The mother of the girls, however, claims the latter never occurred.
A new statement from the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, in response to the incident read, “We have been in contact with Sesame Place, our licensed park partner, and they have assured us that they will conduct bias training and a thorough review of the ways in which they engage with families and guests.”
Rowland continued to express her disappointment with the theme park, an extension of Sesame Street, which she says was a significant part of her childhood learning experience. “When I saw this and it was an extension of what I grew up learning and loving about Sesame Street and Sesame Place, I don’t know what place this is that I saw,” she said. “It made two beautiful little girls feel like they were just not there.”
“I wasn’t trying to give it any more attention,” Rowland added. “I really wasn’t, but those little girls, they deserve an apology.”