The family of the two little Black girls who were seen being ignored at Sesame place in a viral video is not sweeping it under the rug. On Wednesday (July 20), the girls’ mother, Jodi Brown, their attorney, B’Ivory LaMarr, and activists Tamika D. Mallory, and Mysonne held a press conference outside of Sesame Workshop in New York City.
LaMarr addressed the reporters and listed the families’ demands: “We don’t want some explanation that ‘Oh, the performer didn’t see these two young girls’ — which one of them is in isolation today by the harm that has been caused by this company. The second thing that we’re requesting is the immediate termination of that performer. The third thing that we’re going to request is … they take care of any type of health care or mental care expenses.” In the clip below, LaMarr claims the mother, Jodi Brown, has additional footage that shows “what really happened” that day and threatened to release it if the company fails to deliver a genuine apology.
Brown told CNN that she had to have a challenging conversation with her daughter who was disheartened after being ignored: “Right after the character passed them, there was another little girl next to them who was of a different race and [Rosita] hugged her. At that time I had already stopped recording the video . . . I was upset, so I stopped the video because I was like, ‘What just happened?’” She added, “My daughter was just sad. She asked, ‘Mom, what did I do? What happened?,’ and I said, ‘You didn’t do anything. Some people are just mean people.’”
On Monday (July 18), Sesame Place issued an apology claiming the “no” hand gesture from the performer was in response to people in the crowd who “asked Rosita to hold their child for a photo, which is not permitted.” Brown refuted the company’s claims immediately after on her Instagram story. “I never asked for that character to take a picture and as I am watching my video I don’t believe that family asked either,” Jodi began. “I wholeheartedly feel as though that statement was released to save face… Since the post went video no communication was had since then. Sesame Place instead of trying to save face you should have gave a public apology to my girls!”
Sesame Place followed up with an announcement that all employees would be required to undergo bias training due to the incident.