'Sesame Street' introduces 1st Asian-American Muppet
The long running children's educational television programme has again made history by introducing the very first Asian American muppet, Ji-Young. According to Sesame Street actor, Alan Muraoka, who since 1997 has played the owner and manager of Hopper's Store on the show (and Asian American himself) describes her:
"She's a musician, she plays electric guitar, she's a girl of the very modern American fabric. She recognises the culture through her relatives-her grandmother, through her mother-and through the food she eats and loves."
Ji-Young is Korean American, 7 years old, an avid skateboarder besides being a musician, loves soccer and very fond of tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes). She is set to make her debut appearance on Thanksgiving Day as part of a special, "See Us Coming Together." She will be performed by puppeteer, Kathleen Kim and the special co-directed by Alan Muraoka.
Sesame Street, now in its 52nd season, has never been shy at tackling serious subjects. On the 12th of April 2017, the show introduced its first autistic muppet, Julia; as part of its autism awareness initiative, "Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children." With Ji-Young, the issue of racism will come into play. In an offscreen scene, a racist child tells Ji-Young to "go home", which will make her seeks trusted grown-ups and friends who will unite to help her know she's exactly where she belongs.
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