Sesame Street to debut first Asian American muppet

The popular American children's program, Sesame Street, will debut its first ethnic Asian muppet for the first time since the TV show was launched in 1969.

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization producing the program, said on Monday that a Korean American girl muppet named Ji-Young will join the residents of Sesame Street. The character will make her debut in a special program scheduled to air on Thursday next week, which is Thanksgiving Day.

In a chat with other muppets, Ji-Young, who is 7 years old, says she feels that she belongs in Sesame Street whoever she is or wherever she is from, because various other residents and monsters are there.

The special program will also feature ethnic Asian celebrities, including Japanese tennis star Osaka Naomi.

It is expected to look at racial discrimination and other issues.

Anti-Asian hate crimes have continued since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The program's producers expressed their intentions to support families of all backgrounds, while working to respect diverse ethnicities and cultures and eliminate discrimination.