New Jersey Mother Accuses Chuck E. Cheese Of Racial Discrimination Against Daughter
"It's not just that he ignored my daughter; we were at a birthday party, so he didn't acknowledge the table we were at either," Muhammad said.
by Megan Ambers
August 02, 2022 at 8:31 pm
Natyana Muhammad first took to Twitter to share a video showing the famed mouse mascot, Chuck E. Cheese, seemingly ignoring her Black daughter, TMZ reports.
Muhammad explained the mascot “purposely” ignored her daughter. She also said the manager, Angie Valasquez, allegedly made excuses for the character.
In a 15-second video, the mouse character can be seen high-fiving several white children as they walk passed. As the mascot approaches, Muhammad’s daughter raises her hand for a high-five, which the mouse ignores.
“PLEASE RETWEET On July 30 at Chuck E Cheese in Wayne, NJ, my 2yo was racially discriminated against,” she tweeted. “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..”
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
Muhammad followed up the viral tweet with a photo of her daughter with the mouse character, appearing uncomfortable.
“One picture is worth a thousand words. After the managers defended his case on ‘not being able to see her,’ and apologizing, they still insisted on Safa taking a picture with him,” she wrote. “I wasn’t for it, but Safa was still innocently following him around —of course, unaware of what just happened.”
Muhammad told ABC 7 how her daughter was excited to meet Chuck E. Cheese, adding that the character didn’t acknowledge her or any of the people at their table.
“When she turned around, she was excited to see him; she saw that he was giving all the other kids high fives,” Muhammad said. “She put her hand out. It was her turn. He just put his hand in and down, acting like he didn’t see her. She even went around him to continuously give him a high five, like OK, do you see my hand. It’s not just that he ignored my daughter; we were at a birthday party, so he didn’t acknowledge the table we were at either.”
A family is speaking out after they say a character at a Chuck E. Cheese location in New Jersey ignored their 2-year-old girl and the apology they received fell short: “My Black child was the one being ignored.” https://t.co/nFrpijx23f
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) August 2, 2022
Chuck E. Cheese released a statement expressing their sadness and addressing their concerns over the video.
“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,” the statement read.
“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,” the statement continued. “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.”
A similar allegation of discrimination was made against Sesame Street characters at Philadelphia’s Sesame Place amusement park, as Blavity previously reported.