It was announced earlier this week that the franchise’s latest characters – five-year-old Wes and his father Elijah – would offer a lesson on race.
The video was released on Tuesday (23 March) as part of the Sesame Street’s digital content series called “The ABCs of Racial Literacy”, which hopes to “provide families with the tools they need to build racial literacy”.
The series was launched by Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organisation behind Sesame Street, as part of its “commitment to racial justice”.
Many people have welcomed the news on Twitter, however others were confused as to whether it implies that the rest of the Sesame Street puppets are white.
“Are the red and blue and green muppets supposed to be white people?” asked one user.
Another added: “But… none of the other Muppets or Monsters on Sesame Street are any clear ethnicity? Unless you’re saying Elmo, Grover, Oscar, Cookie Monster, The Count, etc. are white…? Or are we now assigning ethnicity and race to them now?”
“I never thought of Sesame Street muppets as having any race,” said someone else, while a fourth user wrote: “It’s telling that despite Muppets being all manner of green, fuchsia & orange that they are still considered default white thus Black Muppets are needed.”
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“Wait, were there white Muppets? Asian Muppets? Hispanic Muppets? On Sesame Street? I thought ethnicity was left to the humans, and the Muppets were just Muppets,” said another.
At the moment, the video segment starring Wes and Elijah is online only and will not air as part of Sesame Street’s television broadcasts.
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