The family of two young Black girls that appeared to be snubbed by a costumed character at Sesame Place in Bucks County earlier this year says all options are on the table after the CEO of SeaWorld didn’t attend a meeting this week.
According to CBS News, in a release from the family’s lawyer, Jodi Brown was supposed to meet with the family on Tuesday (August 30) but the CEO did not attend. Allegedly, she promised in August that a meeting with the Brown family would be held eventually.
Instead, only legal counsel and corporate reps were sent to the meeting. Now, the family says they’re “tired of talking.”
“To appease the Brown family and the community at large, we were presented with the illusion that SeaWorld Entertainment wanted to “do right” and mediate the matter; however, what was labeled a mediation this week, shifted to a meeting where the Browns were finally able to voice their concerns and then offered a sandwich and cookies,” B’lovory LaMarr, the attorney representing Brown’s family, wrote in the release, according to CBS News.
LaMarr said in the release they’re monitoring the ongoing $25 million lawsuit filed against SeaWorld by another firm and that all other options are on the table. Additionally LaMarr noted that SeaWorld hasn’t provided an update on whether the employee in the Rosita costume that appeared to snub the two Black children in the video has been disciplined or terminated.
The class action civil rights lawsuit against the amusement park names its parent companies SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment in Pennsylvania and four employees. Filed on July 26, the lawsuit states, “SeaWorld had actual knowledge that John Does 1-4 held personal beliefs of racial bias towards Black people and that John Does 1-4 had the propensity to discriminate against Black people based on their race or color.”
The lawsuit is asking for $25 million in damages.
The family is separate from Brown’s July 16 incident that appears to show a Sesame Place character shunning her daughter and niece. A person wearing the “Rosita” costume waved off her daughter and niece’s request for a hug.
Brown’s video appears to show the Rosita character high-fiving white people during a parade at the Philadelphia-area theme park. The two Black girls waited their turn and excitedly reached out to Rosita for a hug. The person in the Rosita costume gestured “no” toward them and walked away, leaving the girls seeming to be hurt and shocked by the rejection.
On July 18, Sesame Place released a statement saying that it does not tolerate discrimination and explained that the costumes often “make it difficult to see at lower levels.” As for the “no” gesture, the theme park said the performer was responding to a request to hold a baby for a photograph, which is not allowed.