Film & TV
‘Sesame Street’ Introduces First Asian American Muppet
Hit children’s show Sesame Street has introduced its first ever Asian American character.
Ji-Young, a seven-year-old Korean puppet, will formally join the rest of the characters as part of the See Us Coming Together special.
The special episode will also feature actor Simu Liu, tennis star Naomi Osaka, and others across TV screens on Thanksgiving.
Puppeteer Kathleen Kim is behind the character, and hopes it will help combat racism.
“My one hope, obviously, is to actually help teach what racism is, help teach kids to be able to recognise it and then speak out against it” said Kim, according to the BBC.
“But then my other hope for Ji-Young is that she just normalises seeing different kinds of looking kids on TV.”
In her introductory episode, Ji-Young seeks out trusted adults to openly talk about anti-Asian racism after being told to ‘go back home’.
Kay Wilson Stallings, executive vice-president of creative production for Sesame Workshop, opes that her puppet will teach children how to be a good ‘upstander’.
“Being an upstander means you point out things that are wrong or something that someone does or says that is based on their negative attitude towards the person because of the colour of their skin or the language they speak or where they’re from,” said Stallings.
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