Video Extras

Sesame Street Introduces Its First Asian American Character

Seven-year-old Ji-Young is a Korean America character, who loves skateboarding and playing her guitar.

She will be Sesame’s Street first Asian American character.

"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 explained in an interview.

"But we were looking it up and guess what? Ji also means sesame."

We’ll meet Ji-Young when she join the cast for the ‘See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special’ that will air on Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., celebrating Asian and Pacific Islander identities.

She’ll also be joined by actor Simu Liu and tennis star Naomi Osaka.

Ji-Young’s puppeteer, Kathleen Kim, has infused much of her own personality into the character.

"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," she said.

The episode will delve into social issues and the rising trend of anti-Asian hate.

After an off-screen incident involving racism, Ji-Young will seek out the help of her friends and grown-ups who will unite to help her know she is exactly where she belongs.

“Sesame Workshop’s mission is to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Today, we uphold that mission by empowering children and families of all races, ethnicities, and cultures to value their unique identities,” said Kay Wilson Stallings, Sesame Workshop’s Executive Vice President of Creative and Production.