Sesame Street comes with the first Filipino-American Muppet

Image: Getty Images

Anyone who says Tommie, Ieniemienie and Pino says Sesame Street. Chances are that you – and your child now – have followed the adventures of the Muppets. And anyone who thinks that everything will stay the same is wrong. The creators of the American Sesame Street thought it was time for something new and came up with the first Filipino muppet: TJ.

In one of the final episodes, the Muppets discuss the word of the day: trust. TJ talks about how he worked on boosting his confidence while learning Tagalog, one of the main languages ​​spoken in the Philippines. “I’m very confident because I can always ask my lola for help if I don’t know a word,” he says, using the Tagalog word for grandmother.

Great opportunity

Filipino-American animator Bobby Pontillas created the muppet TJ with puppeteer Louis Mitchell. Sharing some of the muppet’s concepts on Instagram, he writes, “I had the amazing opportunity to work with the geniuses at the Sesame Workshop to create a Filipino muppet for Sesamestreet!” He also writes, “Meet TJ! For its look I based it on the children of my lifelong friends, Max and Mateo, thanks for the inspiration guys.’

Celebrating identities

Sesame Street’s director of talent outreach, inclusion, and content development – Rosemary Espina Palacios – also posted on Instagram about TJ’s debut. She says his arrival is just in time. The month of May celebrates the diverse identities, histories, and experiences of all Asian Americans and Pacific Islands, such as Hawaii and Samoa. Rosemary adds that she feels the topic of trust can help “break the stereotype of minorities.”

Source: Scary Mommy

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