ASEAN – In an upcoming special, the American children’s television show Sesame Street will feature its first Asian American character.
According to The Washington Post, Ji-Young, a seven-year-old Korean American muppet played by Kathleen Kim of Sesame Workshop, will make his debut in See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special, a Thanksgiving performance highlighting diversity in Asian and Pacific Islander communities.
Following the outbreak of the coronavirus virus, which sparked debates and activity surrounding anti-Asian hate, the exhibition comes after almost two years of escalating violence targeting the Asian and Pacific Island communities.
The play is part of Sesame Workshop’s commitment to inspire children and families of all races to embrace their distinct identities, according to Kay Wilson Stallings, executive vice-president of creative and production at Sesame Workshop.
See Us Coming Together, according to Stallings, builds on Sesame Street’s proud history of representation with an entertaining narrative that teaches empathy and inclusion while also lifting Asian and Pacific Islander communities.
The show will follow Ji-Young as she participates in a ‘Neighbor Day’ party with Asian superstars such as tennis sensation Naomi Osaka, action actor Simu Liu, and others.
As part of Sesame Workshop’s continuous commitment to help families in dialogues about race, the performance will also address anti-Asian prejudice.
Ji-Young will be confronted with anti-Asian prejudice in an off-screen confrontation with another character when she is ordered to “go back home,” a phrase commonly used against persons of Asian heritage.
Ji-interactions Young’s with trustworthy adults and friends will be the focus of the show, which will help her comprehend that she is exactly where she should be.
Families will get a viewing guide with related activities the week the program airs.
Ji-Young stated in a recent interview that her name has significant value for her.
“Traditionally, the two syllables in Korean have separate meanings, and Ji denotes smart or wise. Young, on the other hand, signifies “brave, bold, and strong,” she explained. “However, we looked it up, and guess what? “Sesame” is another word for Ji.