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'Sesame Street' debuts Asian American muppet

44 Comments
By TERRY TANG

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44 Comments
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Lovely. Cant help laugh whenever I see any f these puppets.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

She is not Asian enough. Eyes are to round. I am not racist. I have many Asian friends. i dont like the puppet.

-17 ( +9 / -26 )

Move over Miss Piggy, Sesame street has a new "hottie"!

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

What race is Ernie?

14 ( +21 / -7 )

I never knew a Muppet hard a race.

Orange Ernie is orange and Bert is yellow.

What race is Oscar and cookie?

Sad what the west has done to itself.

10 ( +24 / -14 )

"I never knew a Muppet hard a race.

Orange Ernie is orange and Bert is yellow.

What race is Oscar and cookie?

Sad what the west has done to itself."

Done what? Make a show more representative of it's viewing audience? The horror :)

-20 ( +4 / -24 )

Done what? Make a show more representative of it's viewing audience?

How were the puppets representative of any race before this? Shouldn't they also have a black puppet, a native Indian puppet, a South Asian puppet, and a Caucasian puppet so everyone feels represented? I don't see how anyone was underrepresented by the puppets before this, but I can see how some races may feel underrepresented now.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

So if she's asian then what ethnicity is Ernie? Because I always thought Ernie was suffering from severe hepatitis because he's as orange as Trump lol. And the puppet doesn't look asian. Maybe it's too politically incorrect for sesame street to make her eyes slanted?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Ernie tried bulgolgi? Haha. And what's that remark about Bert never trying any korean food? Cant wait to see the cookie monsters korean cousin the kimchi moster, thatd be a mess.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Sesame Street's creators are going to be tying themselves in knots in future if they think they have to create muppets to represent every ethnic group. Aren't there enough humans on that show representing them already?

As a kid I remember the multiracial cast and never felt under-represented or threatened as a white kid. There was Maria, Gordon, Luis, Mr Hooper, and plenty of others whose names I can recall right now, but the show was great without being preachy.

And what's with the Count? Being Transylvanian, he should be caucasian, but maybe there's too much CO2 in the blood he's tapping into, hence the purple complexion.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

LeoToday  07:55 am JST

She is not Asian enough. Eyes are to round

Plastic surgery's pretty popular in Korea. Maybe she took a trip to see the grandparents and got some work done while there?

9 ( +15 / -6 )

@antique saving and others...I kind of agree.

The Muppets have always interacted with a diverse assortment of human characters who represent their cultures and values in an inclusive way. It does lead to absurd questions of the other Muppets ethnicity...and that road leads straight to stereotyping.

Just introduce a Korean Human to the cast would have seemed the obvious fix.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

relic1980Today  08:24 am JST

Done what? Make a show more representative of it's viewing audience? The horror

So it represent the viewing audience before?

At what point was the audience big yellow birds, orange and yellow unibrow, green grumps and blue monsters?

That was the beauty of Sesame Street no one had any race

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Who decided muppets were white? I don't see muppets as any race and that is how we should see everyone in the real world!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Why is Korean culture/language the defector Asian representative in the US? Just becuase they are in style at the moment. Japanese and Chinese need much more representation in the US because they have contributed much more to our country than koreans have.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

They had Maria teaching the whole word how to count ten in Spanish, back in the day.

I'd like to see more of those language learning skits.

Or at least give The Count more screen time and have him travel the world or something to meet new counters.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"I never knew a Muppet hard a race.

Orange Ernie is orange and Bert is yellow.

What race is Oscar and cookie?

Sad what the west has done to itself."

Done what? Make a show more representative of it's viewing audience? The horror :)

@relic1980... I don't often laugh out loud at comments but this was pretty funny.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

She’s cute but muppets never really seemed to be segregated into ‘race’, personality is what made each unique. It was the supporting, ‘real world’ characters that presented social issues in a simple story telling manner that children could understand and make their own opinions about life’s encounters.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

On topic of Sesame’s Street’s diversity without discrimination @shogun36 there are just too many logistical problems with ‘The Count’ traveling as you’ve proposed.

Let’s ‘count’: “One”, he’s only available evenings; “Two”, he’s unable to travel over bodies of water unassisted; “Three”, he must return to his native land/soil each morning; “Four”, any flights must be ‘red eye’; and “Five”, he has to be ‘invited’.

*- @shogun36 10:38am: “…at least give The Count more screen time and have him travel the world or something to meet new counters.” -*

They had Maria teaching the whole word how to count ten in Spanish, back in the day. I'd like to see more of those language learning skits.”

Agreed. But, where is Sesame Street shown in JAPAN?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Tokyo-m

Yep, now they've got a Korean-American muppet, they'll have to have a Japanese-American one next

Not at all, because East Asians are considered interchangeable in Hollywood. So this Korean Muppet represents all East Asians, no need to make from for Japanese Muppet.

and then a Pakistani-American, and then a Kenyan-American, etc etc etc, or else it won't be fair.

Well, Indian muppet representing South Asia and African muppet representing Africa are definite possibility considering representation quota. But no more Japanese or Chinese muppets possible.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

I thought all of the muppets were “monsters”. The cast of humans already do a great job of representing different cultures and they’ve been doing it for decades… I feel the addition of human muppets (black American family earlier in the year and now the Korean American girl) isn’t breaking any new ground.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Can we have an Indian and some Russians and Eskimos and l heard whales have a language so some cetaceans too if we want to be inclusive-hail diversity!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I guarantee that if the creators of the Muppets were to try to represent every group or identity that the same people complaining of unfair representation would immediately complain of how the muppet was unfairly representing said minority. As so many posters have accurately pointed out, Ernie, Bert, etc. were “ raceless” and everyone could relate to the character. Guess the woke mob had to ruin that, too.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How were the puppets representative of any race before this? Shouldn't they also have a black puppet, a native Indian puppet, a South Asian puppet, and a Caucasian puppet so everyone feels represented?

Sure, sound fine to me.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I was not aware that the Sesame Street characters had races. I mean Big Bird is...a bird and the Count is...a vampire. Ernie is as orange as the fruit and Elmo is red as an apple. What races are they? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for representation but this seems like they are trying to be PC for the sake of being PC. Why couldn't they have just introduced the character with that name and leave it at that? Audiences should be able to get the concept through context.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

A lot of very angry fans of Sesame Street in this topic. You can watch other TV shows, you know. They even make some for grown-ups!

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Keeping it relevant on Sesame Street. Make sure to teach that diversity and respect back in Korea as well. Hard for just “Americans” like me to bear these impossibly high standards while the rest of the world says whatever it wants. Anyhow,,,

1 ( +3 / -2 )

StrangerlandToday  08:27 am JST

Done what? Make a show more representative of it's viewing audience?

How were the puppets representative of any race before this? Shouldn't they also have a black puppet, a native Indian puppet, a South Asian puppet, and a Caucasian puppet so everyone feels represented? I don't see how anyone was underrepresented by the puppets before this, but I can see how some races may feel underrepresented now.

I do remember seeing a 'Native American' Muppet on the show and he taught about destroying stereotypes of such people, even if his role was minimal.

prionkingToday  10:00 am JST

Sesame Street's creators are going to be tying themselves in knots in future if they think they have to create muppets to represent every ethnic group. Aren't there enough humans on that show representing them already?

As a kid I remember the multiracial cast and never felt under-represented or threatened as a white kid. There was Maria, Gordon, Luis, Mr Hooper, and plenty of others whose names I can recall right now, but the show was great without being preachy.

The Muppets come in all sort of colors, Any Colo(u)r You Like. that's the magic of it there. And the show also had black and white live actors and puppeteers. The Muppets were invented by Jim Henson who died in the spring of 1990. That day me and my college friends and cohorts of every race, color, religion, ethnicity, fashion, etc. were talking about how Sesame Street, Muppet show, et al. entertained us and we were all sad.

A few years ago I saw live in a club and met afterward the ethnic Japanese-American ukelele player Jake Shimakukaro. I mentioned to him about this skit where Ernie introduces the instrument, then the Cookie Monster grabs the thing and plays 'Tiptoe' on it and EATS IT!!!! Rawh! Rawh! Rawh! Jake told me his 3-year-old son watches that show. Having a Muppet with a non-Western name is okay and all (American recently had a POTUS with such a name) but I always believed that the Muppets transcended race. After all, they are puppets.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Re-read all the prior posts @ExpressSister and can’t really see any “anger” from any fans.

@Express sister 2:19pm: “A lot of very angry fans of Sesame Street in this topic.”

Do you want people to be “angry”? (Seems somewhat counterproductive.) Can you point out one that’s specifically “angry”?

“You can watch other TV shows, you know.”-

Valid point IF there were any users here expressing something really negative, but appears most are just commenting of the show’s past successes in presentation.

- “They even make some for grown-ups!”-

Yes, they do. And, assuming you’re another “grown up” here today as well and just want to continue to share Sesame Street as a learning tool with your kids, you’re just here to express your sentiments as a “fan” too, right?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Everyone wants to be represented these days, even in shows created almost solely by whites. Go ask for some representation anywhere else outside of the West and see how that works for you.

Good grief, cant whites have their own entertainment without being lectured by other people?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I agree that they should have cultural diversity on TV, and having a puppet like Ji is grate, but where do we go next? a Gay or transgender puppet?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

lol! Forget my earlier questions @ExpressSister. Can I amend my posts to say “*I re-read all the posts *prior to 3pm . . . ” - Oh well, ‘to each their own’ : )

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Is Elmo black?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The point seems to be lost on most adults. Sesame Street tries to teach children about inclusion when things don’t make sense. The show has also had a character who has autism when autism was starting to be widely diagnosed. People are people. Whether it be there ethnicity or perhaps a disability they need to be treated with respect. There are also real people in the show. The fact is in the states and a lot of other places due to the pandemic people who are Asian or look as though there are Asian have been targeted. It’s simply a way to show kids to be kind. Just as it’s always been. Some people seem to take it so personal and it just isn’t for you.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

a Gay or transgender puppet?

Well don't you know Ernie and Bert share a bedroom? As to transgender, I have my money on Oscar the Grouch.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Whether it be there ethnicity or perhaps a disability they need to be treated with respect. 

*edit ** Their not there. Can you not edit your own comment on here?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't think anything is wrong with this, why not. By the way, Ernie looks like he packed on a few pounds.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As someone said already, nothing sticks out on this muppet that says “I’m Korean”;

she’s just a dark haired girl. Try again, maybe a small flag or possibly a Korean DRESS would have been appropriate.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The simspson look more Asians

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yeah but can she dance like BTwhatever?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The influence of the Korean community in the US is very strong, they even managed to alter names on official maps at schools. So the coworker inventing the new character in the Sesame Street team is of Korean ethnicity hence a new doll should be the same? No wonder they emphasize the ethnicity so strongly, it was a chance to enhance Korean influence. On top of that I wonder why it was so neccessary to come up with an Asian, sorry Korean muppet. What race/ethnicity are all the others? Why is it all of a sudden that one country must stick out now. Sorry, I see quite some political intention here, especially if she really becomes a permanent and influencial character on "Asian things".

5 ( +5 / -0 )

 There are also real people in the show. The fact is in the states and a lot of other places due to the pandemic people who are Asian or look as though there are Asian have been targeted. It’s simply a way to show kids to be kind. Just as it’s always been. Some people seem to take it so personal and it just isn’t for you.

Having a 'Korean' (named) muppet doesn't hurt anything. I don't think there should be a 'token' anything but a muppet with a 'non-Western' name can show children to be kind and tolerant. However at the same time there always has been racial diversity in the live action cast and I think maybe having an ethnic Oriental/East Asian cast member would be even more effective.

And let's not forget some of the guests who come on the show. I mentioned the uke master Jake Shimakukaro, and there's other talents too. How about that Mongolian hard rock band HU that's been getting some FM radio attention? Shonen Knife as well, hey - some of their videos even resemble Sesame Street in setup anyway, complete with puppets!

Besides, these are puppets (and people in Big Bird and Snuffleupagus outfits). Can you really tell who's behind them all or who's doing the 'voice acting'?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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