Meet the newest members of “Sesame Street,”Ji-Young is 7 years old and already making history. The show’s first Korean-American character has been on air for 52 years.
Ji-Young loves to rock out on her electric guitar or skateboard.
“It was very important to us that she was not generically pan-Asian because that’s something that I think all Asian Americans have experienced,”Kathleen Kim is a puppeteer.
“You know, they want to lump us into this monolithic Asian, but they had a Korean puppeteer, and so it was very important that she was specifically Korean American, not just generically Korean. But she is born here. She embraces her culture, but she’s also American.”
Kathleen Kim, a Korean American woman of 41 years who started puppetry in her 30s, is a part of Ji-Young.
She was accepted to the University of Arizona in 2014. “Sesame Street”She was able to participate in the workshop and became a member of the team the next year. It was a dream for her to become a puppeteer on the show she had seen growing up.
Kathleen was the first to see herself in this role.
“We want her to be like, bold, and she wants to rock out,”Kim stated. “She’s a lot more confident than I was as a kid.”
Ji-Young arrived in the wake of many discussions, including George Floyd’s passing and rising anti-Asian hate incidents.
This is when you should be! “Sesame Street”They reflected on the ways they could meet this moment.
“My one hope, obviously,”Kim stated,” 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.”
Ji-young will be prominent in the new season. You will see her on various digital programs.
“It’s not about me, and it’s not even about Ji-Young,”Kim stated. “It’s about this message, and it’s about bringing representation, inclusivity, and teaching tolerance and friendship and understanding.”