‘Sesame Street’ to debut first Asian American Muppet character

'Shang-Chi' star Simu Liu will also help introduce the character

Sesame Street will debut its first ever Asian American Muppet character in an upcoming episode.

Set to air on Thanksgiving Day (November 25) in the US, See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special will mark the debut of new character Ji-Young.

The character is described as a “spunky seven-year-old who loves to play her electric guitar and is always willing to play a song with her friends on Sesame Street”.

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The description adds: “Ji-Young also loves playing soccer and rolling along the street on her skateboard. Ji-Young is extremely close with her family and is proud of her Korean heritage. She loves playing music with her grandma and cooking her favourite food – tteokboki. Her family eats dinner together at the kitchen table every night, chatting in both Korean and English.”

Designed to spark viewer discussion about anti-Asian racism, the special will see Ji-Young being told to “go home” off-screen. After the incident, “Ji-Young seeks out trusted grown-ups and friends who unite to help her know that she’s exactly where she belongs,” according to the Sesame Workshop.

The special also features celebrity guests including actors Simu Liu and Anna Cathcart, chef Melissa King, athlete Naomi Osaka, TV personality Padma Lakshmi and comic book artist Jim Lee.

Writing about his experience recording the episode on Twitter, Liu said: “I’ve had the privilege of experiencing so many incredible things over the past couple years, but this definitely sticks out.

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“Welcome to Sesame Street, Ji-Young! I’m so glad I got to hang out with you.”

Sesame Street introduced two Black Muppet characters earlier this year to educate children about racism. In June, the show also featured two gay dads to celebrate Pride month.

Billie Eilish was also announced to feature on the latest series of the children’s show, where she performed a kid-friendly rework of her track ‘Happier Than Ever’.

See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special will air Thursday November 25 on HBO Max and Sesame Street’s YouTube channel.

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