The mother of a black two-year-old girl who was allegedly snubbed by a Chuck E. Cheese mascot in New Jersey at a birthday party is threatening to sue the franchise over racial discrimination after being unimpressed with a corporate apology.
(Video Credit: 6abc Philadelphia)
The brewing lawsuit comes just a week after another family filed a $25 million lawsuit against Sesame Place for another alleged incident of discrimination.
The mother tweeted a video showing her two-year-old daughter allegedly being ignored by Chuck E. Cheese in New Jersey. In the footage, the mascot can be seen giving out high-fives to a stage full of white children before appearing to totally ignore the excited two-year-old.
“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,” Naney D. Muhammed wrote.
Then came the apology from the franchise.
“Chuck E. Cheese is saddened when any family or child has a less than perfect experience. We want to thank the family who brought this to our attention at our Wayne, NJ location and for giving the onsite manager an opportunity to apologize and address their concerns in person. As home to millions of families and kids every year that celebrate the big and small milestones, including fun, our goal is to create an inclusive experience for children and parents of all ages, races, ethnicities, religious backgrounds, and learning differences. Our mission is to provide a fun and a safe place Where A Kid Can Be A Kid, and all cast members are trained to ensure that we live up to this promise,” the franchise said in a statement.
Soon, mascots will be canceled and someone will write an article on how mascots have their roots in US slavery.
— 𝕴𝖓𝖖𝖚𝖎𝖘𝖎𝖙𝖔𝖗 𝕲𝖊𝖓𝖊𝖗𝖆𝖑𝖎𝖘 💀🔥🦂🦉☀ (@InqsitorGnerals) August 4, 2022
Muhammed claimed the lackluster apology was dismissive.
“When she turned around she was excited to see him, she saw that he was giving all the other kids high fives,” the mother recounted. “She put her hand out. It was her turn. He just put his hand in and down acting like he didn’t see her.”
“Gave the onsite management the opportunity to apologize when she said, ‘I’m sorry you feel that way,'” she told ABC 7 in an interview. “Was that the apology?”
She claimed that management “insisted” her daughter take a picture with the mascot. The child did not appear enthused.
“Her demeanor changed from she was excited, happy, jumping, high five – to when it was time to take a picture, just stood right beside him,” Muhammed commented. “I hugged her, told her that she would never have to beg for love, because she is loved by many.”
Not so much. pic.twitter.com/NHzY7H1Igj
— Umm Safa 🩰 (@belllahijabi) August 1, 2022
The irate mother, 29, told TMZ that the apology was not sincere by Chuck E. Cheese corporate and that she planned to pursue legal relief over the incident.
“My next step after they released the unapologetic statement is, yes, I do plan to take legal action,” she told the media outlet.
The Sesame Place incident occurred outside Philadelphia when two black girls were allegedly snubbed by a character there as well.
People are questioning, however, whether the perceived snubs were actually what they appeared to be. With bulky, unwieldy costumes that have low visibility, some wonder if the characters are able to see a child reaching up at them. That question, however, probably won’t hold water for many that see it as a racist sleight.
My 5 year old was also ignored last time we were at Chuck E. Cheese. I thought it was because the mascot was overwhelmed with all of the kids and couldn’t see everyone. If only I knew it is because the mascot is racist!
— Allya (@AllyaSims4) August 3, 2022
The mother of the little girl at Chuck E. Cheese contends that it is yet another example of discrimination and asserts that a lawsuit might result in some form of justice.
“I’m hoping my attorney will at least be able to give us some justice, because at this point it seems like it’s becoming a pattern,” she stated. “With little black kids getting ignored at amusement parks and indoor playgrounds where they’re supposed to feel like a child, feel like, you know, loved and appreciated.”
“This is becoming a pattern so we definitely need to get some justice done,” Muhammed added.
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