This seems astonishing to me. Sesame Street, the iconic kids show on PBS on the US (and now on HBO), started in 1969. And it’s taken 53 years for the show to add an Asian puppet. Shocking to me, but good on ya for doing it.
A new Muppet named Ji-Young will make history on the Thanksgiving day episode.
Like many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, her identity will straddle two cultures, says Alan Muraoka, who plays the owner of Hooper’s Store on the show and is also Asian American.
“She’s a musician, she plays electric guitar, she’s a girl of the very modern American fabric,” he told NBC Asian America. “She recognizes the culture through her relatives — her grandmother, through her mother — and through the food she eats and loves.”
Lets get a glimpse of her…
In the special — that centers around a “Neighbor Day” celebration and features celebrities ranging from actor Simu Liu to Japanese tennis pro Naomi Osaka — another child tells Ji-Young to “go home” in an offscreen incident. She subsequently seeks out friends and adults who, together, help her understand she’s “exactly where she belongs,” according to a press release on the episode.
Here’s a look at the song they sing.