Sesame Street diversifies

At only 7 years old, Ji-Young is making history as the first Asian American muppet in the “Sesame Street” canon. She is Korean American and has two passions: rocking out on her electric guitar and skateboarding.

:+1: Very cool, IMO.

So, what ethnicity are the other muppets? I mean, the two most prominent “human” muppets are orange and yellow.

Obviously, Big Bird is from the Canary Islands.

Wait, I thought Oscar was from the Can-ary Islands.

I haven’t watched Sesame Street in years- because I get zero reception on PBS. IIRC They added a hispanic muppet named Rosie a while back. Jim Henson always wanted to teach diversity and such, but for a long time (or so it seemed to me) the Children’s Television Workshop was lily white.

Semi Hijack

While watching the new Ducktales, I noticed that Fenton Crackshell had been changed to Fenton Crackshell-Ramos. I heartily approve of this change.

ETA His last name is Cabrera not Ramos. I suck at remembering names.

The actual human children on the show have always been diverse, and the Muppets on the show have never been “white”, whatever they are.

But they’ve almost always been voiced by white American non-Hispanic guys with typically white American non-Hispanic speech patterns. And although a couple of the animal characters have “ethnic” names like “Pepe” and “Rizzo”, the humanoid ones mostly have white-American-sounding names.

I’m also not sure whether DocCathode meant to refer to the personnel of the CTW having been “lily white” for a long time. As I noted, the early Muppeteers who voiced the characters were almost all white guys.

Wouldn’t that be his cousin, Big Dog, from those islands?

I remember being a big fan of Roosevelt Franklin.

As was the adult cast. So I’m wondering who @DocCathode meant was “lily white.”

Sorry, I should have been clearer. I meant the puppeteers and the puppets.

I think Guy Smiley could be characterized as White. Prairie Dawn also, even if she is pink.

It’s funny, he was the first Muppet I thought of when I read Chronos’s remark.

I read somewhere that they maintain a difference between the “human” muppets and the other muppets.


I wonder what The Count counts as.

Well, some of the nonhumans are officially “monsters” (Cookie, Grover, Elmo, etc.), but then there’s also, say, Kermit, who’s neither human nor monster.

Definitely true; they added more female Muppeteers over time, but there appears to have only been a small number of more ethnically diverse performers, most notably Kevin Clash, who performed Elmo for years, and who is African American, and Carmen Osbarh, who performs Rosita, is a Mexican-American.

I saw, in a recent doco about “Sesame Street”, that Roosevelt Franklin was discontinued as a regular character, because a lot of black viewers complained that he fulfilled too many negative black stereotypes.

If we’re being complete, The Count (Count von Count), while purple, does mention in one episode that he taught at a Moldavian university, so he could be ethnically Romanian or Moldovan or possibly Székely/Hungarian if he is indeed distantly related to Count Dracula (as apparently is suggested somewhere, according to Googling.) So, from that general part of the world.