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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special is a star-studded, historic special that teaches preschoolers about how to be proactive against anti-Asian hate. Featuring the first-ever Asian American Muppet on Sesame Street, Ji-Young, the special highlights several beautiful aspects of Asian and Pacific Islander culture. In preparation for "Neighbor Day," the Muppets are joined by celebrity humans as they learn about racial justice, in a developmentally appropriate way. Themes of the uplifting special include having compassion for everyone, being curious about other cultures, and acting with integrity.
What's the story?
SEE US COMING TOGETHER: A SESAME STREET SPECIAL introduces viewers to the first Asian American Muppet on Sesame Street, Ji-Young. As she prepares for "Neighbor Day" with Elmo, Wes, and their human friends, Alan and Anna Cathcart (Odd Squad: World Turned Odd), she is met with an anti-Asian, racist comment on her way home. In response to Ji-Young feeling sad and scared, Alan takes her on a journey through Sesame Street to understand the importance of celebrating our Asian and Pacific Islander neighbors. Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster, and Big Bird join them, alongside tennis champion Naomi Osaka, Padma Lakshmi (Tomatoes for Neela), Simu Liu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), and Chef Melissa King (Top Chef). Along the way the Muppets and their friends learn facts about Korean, Chinese, Hawaiian, Indian, Japanese, and Filipino culture, food, and art. Ji-Young is inspired to write and perform a unifying song for "Neighbor Day."
Is it any good?
This is an important, developmentally appropriate, and well-timed response to an uprise of racism against Asian Americans in 2020 and 2021 in the wake of COVID-19. See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special is part of Sesame Street's ongoing racial justice initiative, and is a wonderful tool for grown-ups struggling to explain racism to their young children. The diverse cast explicitly talks about race and anti-Asian racism. The Muppets and their human friends talk about this heavy topic in a ways preschoolers can understand. Viewers will be left feeling inspired by the beauty and uniqueness of Asian and Pacific Islander culture, and a desire to actively be allies to people who are treated unfairly.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special talks about how sometimes people from Asian and Pacific Islander cultures are treated unfairly. Why is it wrong to treat people differently based on their race? What can you do to make everyone feel like they belong?
If you weren't familiar with Asian and Pacific Islander culture, what is something new you learned during the special?
Do you have "Neighbor Day" in your neighborhood? Would you like to make new friends in your neighborhood? Talk about how you can do that safely with your parent.
- Premiere date: November 25, 2021
- Cast: Naomi Osaka, Padma Lakshmi, Anna Cathcart, Simu Liu
- Networks: HBO Max, PBS Kids, YouTube
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Activism, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- TV rating: TV-G
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: December 13, 2021
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