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1 Aug 2022

NAACP Denounces Sesame Place’s Treatment of Black Children and Demands Immediate Change

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August 1, 2022 Category: Local Posted by:

NAACP Denounces Sesame Place’s Treatment of Black Children and Demands Immediate Change

Calls on Theme Park to “Bring Children Together, Not Divide Them”

Bucks County, Pennsylvania – Numerous examples of Sesame Place characters ignoring Black children while engaging with children of other races have recently come to light. Such behavior undermines the confidence of Black children and teaches all children that some are more important because of the color of their skin. 

It is long past time for this sort of behavior to be completely rejected by all Americans, who recognize that our children must learn to respect each other to thrive together in our increasingly multicultural country.

Sesame Place and its parent company, Sea World Parks & Entertainment, disregard not onlyBlack children but Black adults as well. The NAACP has attempted multiple times, to no avail, to arrange a meeting with company leadership to discuss steps to ensure this never happens again. 

The companies need to act immediately to ensure all children are treated equally and all families can enjoy a fun, racism-free day at the park.

Leadership Statements

National NAACP President, Derrick Johnson: “A children’s theme park should not be promoting and engaging in racist activity. Sesame Place should bring children together, not divide them.

This is yet another egregious illustration of how racism and other forms of discrimination are

learned behaviors that seek to divide us. Every day, racism and discrimination are perpetratedon the children in our community, and when we don’t hold businesses and individuals accountable for their actions, society accepts this as appropriate behavior. This will never beacceptable and justifiable behavior. Our children deserve far better, and our society owes it to them.”

NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference President, Blanding Watson: “African American children and their families are being emotionally abused at a theme park that is supposed tocater to the emotional development of small children. To date, Sesame Place and Sea World have refused to take any real accountability for these abhorrent actions. We ask for answers from them outlining preventative steps going forward to ensure this never happens again.”

NAACP Bucks County President, Karen Downer: “Parents take children to Sesame Place to create lasting memories. It is heartbreaking that the memories Black children take away are of hurt and pain. Sesame Place and Sea World Parks & Entertainment must act immediately to ensure all children and all families are valued and celebrated at this major Bucks County attraction.”

NAACP Philadelphia President, Catherine Hicks: “The multiple videos that have surfaced depicting several Sesame Place characters blatantly disregarding Black children as if they are unworthy of being engaged is totally unacceptable. This leads us to wonder what incidents are not being filmed during day-to-day interactions. Incidents like this can be damaging to a child’s self-esteem and cause lasting, adverse effects. We will stand with those families who have been affected by this egregious behavior.”

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