A dad has said he "wants to cry" when he looks at video footage of Sesame Street performers who allegedly "ignore" his child in a "racially motivated" move, as he sues the organisers of the event for £20m.
The five-year-old was allegedly given the cold shoulder by the performers in costume, so her dad has filed a class action lawsuit against SeaWorld Parks, the owner of Sesame Place, for “pervasive and appalling race discrimination."
Quinton Burns said his daughter Kennedi was ignored by an employee dressed as the Telly Monster, Ernie and two other characters despite the SeaWorld performers "readily engaging with numerous similarly situated white customers.”
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“Just looking at her face, it makes me want to cry every time I see it,” Burns said during a press conference with his attorneys on Wednesday.
He was referring to footage of the incident, where his child looks confused and sad when she is apparently rebuffed whilst other children are greeted.
“We stand here before you today simply trying to fight and protect little Black children and their fundamental civil rights,” attorney Malcolm Ruff told reporters about the June 18 event.
“She was ignored amongst a sea of other young white children who were able to interact, give hugs, high fives,” Ruff said.
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The lawyer said Kennedi's angry father contacted his law firm after he watched a viral clip showing two other black girls from New York allegedly passed over in favour of white children.
The other families are not part of this lawsuit, reports said.
“Kennedi was forced to experience racism at the age of five. This is unacceptable and we will not stand by and let this continue,” Ruff added.
Sesame Place said all staff will undergo bias training as a result of the incidents, the New York Post reported.
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