'Sesame Street' to Debut Korean American Character Ji-Young

‘Sesame Street’ to Debut Korean American Character Ji-Young

A Korean American puppet named Ji-Young is making history as the first Asian American Muppet to join the cast of Sesame Street.

The 7-year-old character will make her debut as part of the upcoming show See Us Together: A Sesame Street Special. The show is scheduled to air on Thanksgiving.

Alan Muraoka, who plays the owner of Hooper’s store on the show, told NBC Asian America that Ji-Young would straddle two cultures while embodying a modern American girl.

“She’s a musician, she plays electric guitar, she’s a girl of the very modern American fabric,” he said. “She recognizes the culture through her relatives — her grandmother, through her mother — and through the food she eats and loves.”

The special intends to celebrate “the rich diversity of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities as part of the organization’s ongoing racial justice initiative.” It will also offer an opportunity to discuss anti-Asian racism. 

According to a press release, an offscreen incident occurs with Ji-Young where another child tells her to “go home.” The scene is meant to convey that Asian and Pacific Islander people are often seen as “perpetual foreigners” in western countries. Following the incident, Ji-Young spoke to friends and trusted adults who assured her she was exactly where she belonged.

See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special will make its debut on Thursday, November 25. It will air on PBS Kids, Cartoonito on HBO Max, and Sesame Street’s YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram channels.



About ErinBoogie

Erin Boogie is a blogger for BallerAlert.com and producer/co-host of the weekly radio show In the Field Radio.

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