LANGHORNE, Pa. (CBS) — Sesame Place is facing a $25 million class action lawsuit over how its costumed characters allegedly treat young black children. A law firm has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Baltimore family.
They also released a new video of characters allegedly snubbing other black kids at the Bucks County amusement park.
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The video follows the now-viral video posted nearly two weeks ago by a New York family who say a Sesame Place character ignored two little girls.
“We stand here before you today simply to try to fight and protect little black children and their basic civil rights,” attorney Malcolm Ruff said.
Lawyers for the Baltimore Burns family have filed a class action lawsuit alleging pervasive and appalling racial discrimination against Sesame Place and its parent company Sea World after a video shows what they say are several costumed figures snubbing a 5-year-old black girl years for other white children.
“She was ignored among a sea of other young white kids who got to interact, give hugs, high fives,” Ruff said.
These attorneys say Quinton Burns contacted their firm after seeing the now-viral video where a New York mother alleges her black daughter and niece were ignored in favor of white children in the crowd at a parade.
Lawyers say the Burns were discriminated against on Father’s Day, June 18, when they visited Bucks County Park and participated in a character meet-and-greet.
Lawyers claim four Sesame Place characters intentionally refused to interact with Kennedi and other black guests at the park. They say there are videos to prove it.
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“Just looking at his face makes me want to cry every time I see him,” Burns said.
“Kennedi was forced to experience racism at the age of 5. This is unacceptable and we will not sit idly by and let this continue,” Ruff said.
The attorneys are seeking compensatory and punitive damages of more than $25 million and are asking other families who may also have suffered prejudice to come forward.
“We want to punish Sea World because they know what happened was wrong and we’re sure we’re going to find out that it was indeed a pattern that they were aware of, they didn’t care. “said attorney Mart Harris.
Lawyers representing the New York family emphasize that they are not part of this lawsuit.
Sesame Place said it was taking steps to review its practices to identify needed changes.
Sesame Place responded to the lawsuit in a statement sent to Eyewitness News, saying, “We will review the lawsuit filed on behalf of Mr. Burns. We look forward to dealing with this claim through the established legal process. We are committed to providing an inclusive, fair and entertaining experience for all of our customers.
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CBS3’s Ross DiMattei, Ryan Hughes and Alicia Roberts contributed to this report.