Kelly Rowland Blasts Sesame Street For Ignoring Black Girls in Viral Video

Kelly Rowland has voiced her anger at a Sesame Street parade where two Black children were seemingly ignored by one of the characters.

The incident took place at the Sesame Place theme park in Philadelphia, and the video of the incident posted to Instagram has gone viral. Destiny's Child singer Rowland reposted the video to her Instagram stories and voiced her frustration on behalf of those involved.

Sesame Place released a statement stating that the performer in the costume did not "intentionally ignore the girls and is devastated by the misunderstanding," suggesting that its hard to see guests at a lower level when in costume.

"Ok so, had that been me, that whole parade would have been in flames," Rowland said to her followers on Instagram on Sunday. "Like, are you serious? You're not going to speak to my child?" And did you see that baby's face at the end? The little one with the pink on? She deserves an explanation. Hello."

Kelly Rowland and Sesame Place incident
Kelly Rowland has spoken out about an incident involving two young Black girls seemingly being ignored by a costumed performer at the Sesame Place park in Philadelphia. Paras Griffin/Getty Images / Instagram @__jodiii__ / Sesame Place

Rowland spoke to the camera, informing her 13.4 million followers what had happened. She wrote on her stories, "TF! This just made me So mad!"

The original video was posted on Sunday July 17 by the Instagram user @__jodiii__ who appears to be the young girl's mom. The video showed two young girls with outstretched arms, waiting for the Sesame Street character Rosita who was approaching as part of a parade. After high-fiving other people along the parade route, the character waves her hand at the two girls and walks away.

"I'm going to keep posting this, because this had me hot," the Instagram user wrote. The video has almost 300,000 views and has been widely shared across the internet. Detailing the incident, she continued, "We were on our way out of Sesame Place and the kids wanted to stop to see the characters. THIS DISGUSTING person blatantly told our kids NO then proceeded to hug the little white girl next to us!"

This incident is not seen on camera, but @__jodiii__ explained what happened next. "Then when I went to complain about it, they looking at me like I'm crazy. I asked the lady who the character was and I wanted to see a supervisor and she told me SHE DIDNT KNOW !! I will never step foot in @sesameplace ever again," she wrote.

The Instagram user said she got so mad after the incident that she stopped filming the video.

Thousands of people have flooded the comment section of the original post, sharing their frustration and expressing their sympathy for the two young girls involved.

"Same thing happened to us when we went," replied @asameerah__ in the comments, "thought I was just being sensitive or something but that's real [shake my head]."

The official Sesame Place Instagram account released a statement on the incident, claiming it was the result of a misunderstanding.

"Our brand, our park and our employees stand for inclusivity and equality in all forms," the statement read. "Regarding the incident yesterday, the costumes our performers wear sometimes make it difficult to see at lower levels and sometimes our performers miss hug requests from guests.

"The performer portraying the Rosita character has confirmed that the 'no' hand gesture seen several times in the video was not directed to any specific person, rather it was a response to multiple requests from someone in the crowd who asked Rosita to hold their child for a photo which is not permitted."

The statement also suggested that a representative for the park spoke to the family involved, apologized and invited them to a special meet-and-greet opportunity with the characters.

The person involved in the incident, Instagram, user @__jodiii__ posted her response to that statement on their Instagram stories.

"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. I wholeheartedly feel as though that statement was released to save face. Also a [manager] reached out to me earlier via phone convo. I responded via dm to confirm."

She continued: "Since the post went viral no communication was had since then! [Sesame Place] instead of trying to save face you should of gave a public apology to my girls! That statement disrespectful and distasteful. Talk about adding insult to injury. I will re-post this video every day until it is rectified."

Another user was similarly upset.

"Don't try to tell me he can't see lower levels. He looked at them and said no!! So embarrassing and hurtful. Signed: A hurt mom."

Digital Strategist Leslie Mac shared the video on Twitter where it got over 2 million views.

"Baby Paige & her cute lil friends went to Sesame Place this weekend to celebrate Paige's 4th birthday & this is how Sesame Place treated these beautiful Black children," Mac said.

As a result, both Sesame Place and Baby Paige became trending topics as the anger towards the Philadelphia park continued online.

Attorney Ben Crump called the incident "absolutely heartbreaking" for the "two young queens," while movie producer Tariq Nasheed called for the employee to be fired.

Newsweek reached out to Sesame Place Philadelphia for further comment, and also to the Instagram user @__jodiii__.