A mother has accused a Chuck E. Cheese employee of purposely ignoring her Black daughter during a birthday party.
In a video shared on Twitter, the pizza restaurant’s mouse mascot is seen walking along one side of the room and high-fiving a line of children.
The woman’s daughter Safa, dressed in a pink tulle skirt, can be seen excitedly jumping up and down and waving her arms around. She holds out her arm to hive five the mascot, who appears to turn away from her.
“On 30 July at Chuck E. Cheese in Wayne, New Jersey, my [two-year-old] was racially discriminated against,” the mother wrote on Twitter.
“As you can see, he gives all of the [white] kids high-fives and PURPOSELY ignored my Black baby. When confronted, he ignored me as well.”
The mother said she complained to the restaurant manager, who allegedly said she is “sorry [the mother] feels that way”, and that the mascot did not see her daughter.
The Independent has contacted Chuck E. Cheese for comment.
PLEASE RETWEET‼️ On July 30 at Chuck E Cheese in Wayne, NJ, my 2yo was racially discriminated against. As you can see, he gives all of the yt kids hi-5s & PURPOSELY ignored my black baby. When confronted, he ignored me as well. The manager, Angie Valasquez, made excuses for him.. pic.twitter.com/QMmE3wmti1
— Umm Safa 🩰 (@belllahijabi) July 31, 2022
Earlier this month, digital strategist Leslie Mac shared a video of the girls excitedly waving at a performer dressed in a Rosita costume at the Philadelphia-based attraction.
The worker is seen high fiving several attendees, before motioning with their arms that they would not high five the two young girls.
“#BabyPaige and her cute lil friends went to @SesamePlace this weekend to celebrate Paige’s fourth birthday and this is how #SesamePlace treated these beautiful Black children. I’m HOT,” Mac captioned the video.
#BabyPaige & her cute lil friends went to @SesamePlace this weekend to celebrate Paige's 4th birthday & this is how #SesamePlace treated these beautiful Black children. I'm HOT. pic.twitter.com/wATjpRzUF1
— Confident and she lethal (@LeslieMac) July 17, 2022
In its initial response, Sesame Place said the worker in the Rosita costume did not specifically ignore the two girls, and that the hand gesture was a response to multiple requests for a photograph from someone else in the crowd.
The statement was branded “pathetic” by social media users, including singer Kelly Rowland, who commented: “Those gorgeous girls will never forget that feeling! THEY ARE KIDS!!!!! You should be ASHAMED of yourselves for this pathetic statement!”
The park later apologised in a second statement shared to Twitter.
“We sincerely apologise to the family for their experience in our park on Saturday; we know that it’s not ok. We will conduct training for our employees so they better understand, recognise and deliver an inclusive, equitable and entertaining experience to our guests,” the statement said.