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Sesame Street introduces first Asian American Muppet to teach viewers about racism

Ji-Young is the latest resident on Sesame Street (Picture: Sesame Workshop)

There’s a new star to watch out for on Sesame Street, after the first Asian American Muppet was introduced to the show. 

The character, named Ji-Young, is moving to one of the most famous addresses in TV, and the show hopes to make young Asian and Pacific Islander children feel at home in America. 

Ji-Young is seven years old and loves to go skateboarding and play her guitar in the Muppets band. She also likes to introduce members of her street to different elements of Korean culture.

Kathleen Kim, who is the puppeteer behind Ji-Young, hopes to teach viewers about racism and bullying with the character – helping them be good ‘upstanders’ and fight discrimination.

‘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’, she said.

‘But then my other hope for Ji-Young is that she just normalises seeing different kinds of looking kids on TV.’

The show will also address the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes since the start of the pandemic.

In one episode, Ji-Young shares her own experiences with her friends and says that someone told her to ‘go home’. She then speaks to adults about anti-Asian racism.

It comes after Sesame Street celebrated Pride month by including two gay fathers in an episode titled Family Day, proving once again the importance of the long-running children’s television show.

More: US TV news

Sesame Street alo added two Black Muppets to the cast earlier this year as they continue to educate children about race and racism.

The series has been launched by Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organisation behind Sesame Street, as part of its ‘commitment to racial justice’.

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