Antony Blinken: Biden’s secretary of state pick once appeared on Sesame Street

Former Obama official said four years ago that refugees are ‘just like you and me’  in children’s show appearance 

Gino Spocchia
Tuesday 24 November 2020 11:57 GMT
Secretary of state-elect Blinken's Sesame Street appearance resurfaces upon reported announcement

A video has resurfaced in which Antony Blinken, a long-time adviser to Joe Biden and a Washington diplomat tipped to become US Secretary of State, appeared on Sesame Street.

Mr Blinken appeared on the programme as deputy Secretary of State to former president Barack Obama, to discuss the role of the United Nations and why Americans should welcome refugees.

Social media users shared a video of Mr Blinken’s Sesame Street appearance ahead of a scheduled announcement on Tuesday by president-elect Biden on who will take top positions in his administration.  

The 58-year-old, who was expected to be named as Mr Biden’s appointment for Secretary of State, said on Sesame Street at the time that refugees are “just like you and me”.

The appointment to the State Department will, as both social media users and political commentators pointed out, come in contrast with Trump administration attacks on refugees.

Speaking with Sesame Street’s Grover character at the United Nations in New York, the Obama administration official said refugees “are people who’ve had to leave their homes because life in their countries was not safe for them.”

“Grover, can you imagine how difficult it would be to have to leave your home?” added Mr Blinken, to which Grover responded: “No, I cannot, I would never want to leave Sesame Street”.

“Sadly, refugees have to leave everything behind”, Mr Blinken then added, before saying that “even though they come from many different places, they’re just like you and me.”

Mr Blinken also shared the same video to Twitter at the time, and wrote: “This school year, some kids will have new classmates: refugees. Grover & I discuss how to make them feel welcome in their new communities.”

The then-deputy Secretary of State had been addressing concerns around the 2015-2016 migration crisis, having said that summer that: “No single country can solve [the] global refugee crisis alone”.

He previously served as deputy national security adviser to Mr Biden as vice president.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in