AP News

Sesame Street has its first Asian American muppet

There’s a new muppet walking around Sesame Street and she’s Asian American. According to the AP, the new muppet’s name is Ji-Young and she’s Korean-American.

“So, 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,” Ji-Young told the AP. “But we were looking it up and guess what? Ji also means sesame.”

Ji-Young is 7-years-old and she loves to skateboard and play electric guitar. She will be introduced to the show on Thanksgiving Day.

Ji-Young is the product of her puppeteer, Korean American Kathleen Kim.

“I feel like I have a lot of weight that maybe I’m putting on myself to teach these lessons and to be this representative that I did not have as a kid,” Kim said. But fellow puppeteer Leslie Carrara-Rudolph — who performs Abby Cadabby — reminded her, “It’s not about us … It’s about this message.”

Ji-Young was created to combat anti-Asian sentiment after the rise of crimes against Asian Americans in the United States.

“I remember like the Atlanta shootings and how terrifying that was for me,” Kim said. “My one hope, obviously, is to actually help teach what racism is, help teach kids to be able to recognize it and then speak out against it. But then my other hope for Ji-Young is that she just normalizes seeing different kinds of looking kids on TV.”

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