'Sesame Street' to Debut First Asian-American Muppet During Thanksgiving Special

Performed by Sesame Workshop puppeteer Kathleen Kim, Ji-Young will make her debut in 'See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special' in which Ji-Young will celebrate 'Neighbor Day'.

AceShowbiz - "Sesame Street" has a new face appearing on upcoming special for Thanksgiving. Ji-Young, a 7-year-old Korean American muppet, will be introduced on the show, marking the first Asian-American character in the show's history.

Performed by Sesame Workshop puppeteer Kathleen Kim, Ji-Young will make her debut on "See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special". The Thanksgiving show is set to celebrate diversity among the Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

"See Us Coming Together, Ji-Young will celebrate "Neighbor Day" where she will be joined by other notable celebrities of Asian descent, including tennis star Naomi Osaka, action actor Simu Liu and others. Ji-Young will also be seen sharing her love for rock music and tteokbokki, Korean rice cakes.

Additionally, she will be seen countering anti-Asian bias and harassment at a time of heightened awareness around the issue as she had an off-screen encounter with another character who demands her to "go back home."

Sesame Workshop creates the character to support families of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage as part of its racial justice initiative, Coming Together. The initiative was first introduced in summer 2020 after the murder of George Floyd and as racism and violence targeting Asians and Asian Americans surged during the pandemic.

" 'See Us Coming Together' continues Sesame Street's proud legacy of representation with an engaging story that encourages empathy and acceptance and uplifts Asian and Pacific Islander communities," Kay Wilson Stallings, Sesame Workshop's executive vice president of creative and production, said in a news release.

As for Ji-Young, she explained to Associated Press the meaning of her name. "In Korean, traditionally the two syllables they each mean something different and Ji means, like, smart or wise. And Young means, like, brave or courageous and strong," she said. "But we were looking it up and guess what? Ji also means sesame."

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