Last month, a Black Family filed a lawsuit against Sesame Place Philadelphia over a viral video that appeared to show a character failing to interact with their kids.
Now, a Black New Jersey mother claims her daughter was racially discriminated against at a Chuck E. Cheese by the mascot of the restaurant chain, who ignored her daughter while entertaining other white kids at a birthday party.
'Chuck E. Cheese Purposely Ignored my Black Baby'
Twitter user @belllahijabi shared video footage of the incident along with a caption that read, "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."
The mother further noted that when she confronted the character, he ignored her as well. She added that the manager, Angie Valasquez, made excuses saying that the mascot didn't see her. The clip shows a young toddler jumping in excitement with her fists raised in the air as the character approaches a handful of white kids standing on a platform nearby.
The character is then seen giving the kids on stage a high-five, prompting the little Black girl to raise her palm in the hopes of getting one too. However, the mascot looks down at the girl and appears to ignore her request. Watch the video below:
The video instantly went viral on Twitter with more than 2.3 million views on the platform and hundreds of comments. While some users agreed that the child was racially discriminated against, others alleged that the character probably couldn't see the young girl or the white kids paid for the special interaction with the mascot.
Here are some of the reactions:
Chuck E. Cheese Previously Accused of Racism
This is not the first time a Chuck E. Cheese character has been accused of racial discrimination.In 2019, a family in Louisiana called out the restaurant chainfor alleged racist behavior after an employee in costume as the restaurant chain's iconic character appeared to ignore their daughter, who is Black, but greeted and hugged the other kids.
Damon Payne filmed his 3-year-old daughter, Dynver, trying to hug and greet Chuck E. multiple times on their visit to the restaurant in Metairie on Monday (Nov. 25) in celebration of her birthday. In the video the employee dressed as the mouse character can be seen turning away several times and hugging the other children around him, who Payne said were all White, as reported by WDSU.
Payne said when he showed the manager the video, he was only offered 50 free tickets to redeem at the store's shop. At the time, a representative for Chuck E. Cheese said the company's policy is for the character not to initiate contact with a child.
"Our cast members are trained not to initiate physical contact with the children - in case they are afraid of Chuck E.," the representative said in a statement. "We want to assure our guests that we take great measures to protect the experience all children and families have in our restaurants."