How to watch the episode of Sesame Street debuting in the first Asian-American Muppet Ji-Young
She is here ! It’s time to meet your new neighbor on Sesame Street, Ji-Young. The neighborhood’s first Asian-American muppet debuted Thursday, and the episode made a powerful statement about the focus, belonging and impact of the abuse amid a rise in anti-Asian racism in America.
Entitled “See Us Coming Together”, the special airs on Thanksgiving and celebrates the diversity of Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Starring and directed by longtime Sesame Street actor Alan Muraoka, the episode focuses on Ji-Young, who is of Korean descent, and features special appearances from Marvel star Simu Liu, tennis champion Naomi Osaka, and gang legend drawn by Jim Lee, actress Anna Cathcart and chefs Melissa King and Padma Lakshmi.
Sesame Street uploaded the entire episode to YouTube, so you can stream it below:
The special is set in the run-up to a Neighbors Day party on the street and touches on an important conversation about racism early on. Ji-Young suffers racist abuse as she returns home to get a guitar string, a moment that sets the tone for the entire episode. “A child shouted at me to ‘come home’. It really, really, really hurt me,” she told Alan, Elmo, Tamir and Canadian. To all the boys … star Anna Cathcart, who is Chinese and Irish. “It made me feel sad. And scared.”
“Elmo doesn’t understand. Wasn’t Ji-Young fair To home? ”Elmo asks.
“What they meant was she should get out of Sesame Street and this country,” says Alan. “There are people who don’t believe that Asians like me, Anna and Ji-Young belong to this country … What this kid told you was wrong. We all belong here and we should all be very proud of who we are and where we come from. “
“We all belong here and we should all be very proud of who we are and where we come from.”
In order to support Ji-Young after his experience, Alan takes him on a tour of the neighborhood, meeting with neighbors and celebrating the traditions and diversity of communities in the Asian and Pacific islands, from a bus driver playing football. basketball from the Philippines to teachers from India. Sure, it’s Sesame Street, so celebrity appearances are strong throughout, but they’re all poignant conversations about belonging and celebrating who you are.
Shang-Chi Star Simu Liu shows up with Big Bird, hosting Neighbors Day games. “You are Simu Liu! You are an actor and you do your own stunts and you are in movies and all that!” Ji-Young exclaims in a very relatable fan-out moment.
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“You know what? I didn’t always know I could be one,” Liu said. “I’m Chinese and when I grew up I hardly ever saw someone like me in movies and on the television. And when I saw people like me, they all played the same kind of character, always in the background. And it made me feel like I could only be a kind of thing when I grew up … that’s why I love being in movies. I can show people like me that our stories matter. “
Tennis champion Naomi Osaka makes a cameo via video message, and here to talk about how sharing dishes from different cultures can bring neighbors together, Indian-American Chef Padma Lakshmi makes samosas and Chef Melissa King , who is Chinese and California-born, makes dumplings – despite cooking alongside Cookie Monster who “enjoys the culture” by inhaling anything in sight.
Chef Melissa King and Ji-Young explore food with the icon of Sesame Street Cookie Monster.
Credit: Zach Hyman / Sesame Workshop
Comic book legend Jim Lee teaches Ji-Young how to celebrate our differences through creativity. “My family moved from Korea when I was little,” says Lee. “When I was little, I read comics. I actually learned English by reading comics about superheroes. I loved them because superheroes were so different from other people. I could. understand because sometimes I felt like I didn’t belong. “
“So what did you do when you felt this way?” Ji-Young asks.
“Well, I started drawing my own superheroes. I created stories where my heroes worked with their friends to make the world a better place,” says Lee. “Sometimes what makes you different from others is your superpower … You belong here. It is therefore important that people hear you. Your voice matters.
“You belong here. It is therefore important that people hear you. Your voice matters. ”
In between each meeting, Ji-Young and Alan have a brief conversation, meaning there is room for reflection on Ji-Young’s continued fear that the person who was racist towards her might be at the party. the neighboors’ Party. Alan gives her advice on handling experiences like this, but also the importance of fighting racism (something on Sesame Street has worked a lot, with specials and resources), and reminds her to ask. the support of his friends.
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The puppeteer behind Ji-Young, Kathy Kim, who is also of Korean descent, stressed the importance of the character being seen by Asian American children. “One of my favorite things about Ji-Young is that she is very proud of her Korean heritage and is so happy to share it with other people,” she said. stated in a behind-the-scenes video. “To be able to be the representation that I didn’t have as a kid, that’s… you can’t put words on it.”
“I also specifically want Asian American children to see themselves,” she added, “because the more children see people who look like them reflected in the media they listen to, the more they know that they to do belong.”
You can stream the episode above or on Youtube.