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Breaking News: Latest Addition to ‘Sesame Street’ Cast is First Muppet of Asian Descent


Breaking News: Latest Addition to ‘Sesame Street’ Cast is First Muppet of Asian Descent

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Among its usual array of brightly-colored characters such as Elmo and Big Bird, Sesame Street has consistently featured a group of humanoid Muppets aimed at connecting more effectively with its young viewers. The recent announcement unveils the introduction of a new Muppet to the mix, marking a significant milestone in the show’s history as it welcomes its first Asian-American character, specifically of Korean descent.

The latest addition to the Muppet family is Ji-Young, a 7-year-old American of Korean heritage. In a character interview, Ji-Young disclosed her keen interests in playing the electric guitar and skateboarding, alongside her deep knowledge of Korean language and traditions. Notably, her name subtly nods to the show’s iconic title.

“In Korean, each syllable typically carries distinct meanings; Ji signifies intelligence or wisdom, while Young embodies courage, strength, and bravery,” Ji-Young shared. “Interestingly, Ji also translates to sesame, adding a unique connection to the show’s essence.”

Behind the scenes, the role of Ji-Young is expertly portrayed by puppeteer Kathleen Kim, a devoted viewer of Sesame Street during her upbringing. Reflecting on her involvement in the creative process behind Ji-Young’s character development, Kim expressed a sense of duty and privilege, driven by a profound commitment to a noble cause.

Kim revealed her personal sense of responsibility in embodying Ji-Young, emphasizing the collective purpose of the message entrusted to the character. She recounted a poignant reminder from cast mate Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, emphasizing that the narrative transcends individual actors and resonates as a broader message for viewers.

Ji-Young is slated to make her debut appearance in “See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special,” an exclusive episode scheduled for premiere on HBO Max, local TV networks, and various Sesame Street social media platforms on Thanksgiving Day. The program aims to commemorate and embrace the diverse richness of Asian and Pacific Islander communities as part of an enduring initiative towards racial equity.

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