Can a fictional mouse be canceled? Ask this NJ Chuck E Cheese
When a Disney World employee was accused of being racist and excluding an African-American kid from the festivities during a parade, the whole world was appalled.
A video went viral showing the costume character seemingly ignoring a breathless and excited little girl waiting for attention and it really looked bad. I’m not saying that she was ignored because she was black but it really did make for poor optics.
The only thing is that we know that Disney is not like that. Disney is one of the most accepting and diverse companies in the world. And if one employee was deemed to be racist or exclusionary in any way, Disney would take care of it tout de suite.
Can we say the same about Chuck E. Cheese?
A Chuck E. Cheese employee at the Wayne location was highlighted on a recent video also seeming to ignore an African American child and high diving other kids to the exclusion of this one kid. The mother of his child, according to an article on TapInto.net, expresses her anger, claiming that she knows for sure her kid was ignored.
I’m not making excuses for the employee, but I also want to play devil's advocate for a minute: I have never worked in a costume. In this video, it doesn’t seem as clear as in the Disney video. Was it really that the costumed characters' sightlines were obscured from the costume? Was the kid just out of his or her view? I’m actually not sure from watching the video.
In any case, the biggest mistake a parent can make is calling your child’s attention to the slight.
I know that had this happened to my kid, even if I thought it was a case of racism, I would not share it with the child. I would not tell my kid “oh, Chuck E. Cheese didn’t high-five you because he’s racist!” I would want to deal with a company face-to-face and not publicly.
My kids have been victims of bigotry and I always made it my business to keep between the perpetrator and me. This parent shares that she wanted this video to go viral so that people could learn a lesson from it. But why teach a child such a cruel lesson at such a tender age?
But the jury is still out on Mr. Cheese's behavior. And of course, Chuck E. Cheese is looking into the matter. But was he racist? Did he ignore her on purpose? What do you think?
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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