• The woman and her 2-year-old daughter were attending a birthday party at the outlet
  • Chuck E. Cheese issued an apology following the incident
  • The mother said it was a hurtful experience

Wayne, New Jersey-- A New Jersey mom is upset as a character at a Chuck E. Cheese outlet allegedly ignored her 2-year-old daughter.

Natyana Muhammad shared a video Sunday that showed a costumed employee ignoring a Black girl while greeting other children. The mother said her 2-year-old child, Safa, was snubbed by the Chuck E. Cheese mascot.

In the viral video, a Black girl, wearing a pink tulle dress, can be seen trying to get the character's attention by jumping up and down. The man, who was approaching the children from the other direction, gives high-fives to some white children but ignores Safa, visibly upsetting her.

"When confronted, he ignored me as well," Natyana wrote in the post, adding that when she took it up with the restaurant's manager, she also tried to defend the employee. "The manager, Angie Valasquez, made excuses for him."

Natyana told ABC 7 that Safa was invited to a birthday party at the Chuck E. Cheese location in Wayne, Passaic County on July 31. The mother accused the employee of racial discrimination.

"When she turned around she was excited to see him, she saw that he was giving all the other kids high-fives," she told the outlet. "She put her hand out. It was her turn. He like put his hand in and then down, and acted like he didn't see her."

Natyana said Safa was hell-bent on grabbing his attention. "She even went around him to continuously give him a high-five, like 'OK, do you see my hand?" Natyana said. "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."

The mother later shared a photo in which Safa was seen posing next to the mascot. She was visibly upset.

"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. I wasn't for it but Safa was still innocently following him around—of course, unaware of what just happened," Natyana wrote.

Chuck E. Cheese issued a statement following the incident.

"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 celebrates 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 safe place Where A Kid Can Be A Kid, and all cast members are trained to ensure that we live up to this promise," it added.

However, the mother was not happy with the apology.

"Gave the onsite management the opportunity to apologize when she said, 'I'm sorry you feel that way,' Was that the apology?" Natyana said. "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. I hugged her, told her that she would never have to beg for love because she is loved by many."

It came on the heels of a similar incident when a woman claimed some characters at Philadelphia's Sesame Place theme park ignored her daughters. In a video shared by the mother, the "Rosita" character was seen high-fiving a number of white children and motioning "no" to the two young Black girls, leaving them disappointed. The family went on to file a $25 million racial discrimination lawsuit against the business. Sesame Place issued a public apology following the incident.

Chuck E. Cheese character ignores Black girl Pixabay