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Sesame Street says “Hola” to new Latino muppet

sesamestreet.org

I was in the first generation of kids who grew up with Sesame Street. Even at a young age, I recognized how rare it was to see fellow Latinos on television, much less a happily married, well-adjusted couple like Maria and Luis.

I wasn’t even traumatized when Grover would get all quiet, lean in to whisper to a little Hispanic child, and then start shouting and waving his spindly arms around. Seriously, he did that a lot.

So I am happy that Sesame Street continues to take its mission seriously and reflects the evolving culture of America. Recently, the show announced that it will be adding a new Latino character and would focus on Hispanic heritage for its upcoming 44th season.

The show is also seeking a bilingual actor or actress between the ages of 18 and 25 who is “capable of singing and improvising in both English and Spanish and [has] a good sense of humor.”

One presumes that the superhuman ability to tolerate Elmo for more than 19 seconds would also be a plus. For the right actor, this could be a big break of Snuffleupagusian proportions.

As we know, the creators of Sesame Street were always way ahead of the cultural curve, bringing multiculturalism into the American home decades before the term became a laudable goal or a evil conspiracy (depending on whom you talk to).

The Jim Henson Company continues to be at the forefront of societal change, as evidenced by its decision to sever ties with Chick-Fil-A over the homophobic stance of that company’s head. Apparently, Big Bird is no fan of religious zealots.

Of course, some people will insist that Sesame Street is just being PC or trendy for adding a Latino character. This ignores the fact that acknowledging Hispanic culture — a generation before virtually any other television program did — is not trendy. It’s genius.

About Daniel Cubias

Daniel Cubias is a writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Being Latino, his work can be found in such publications as the Huffington Post, Change.org, Aqui magazine, and his website, the Hispanic Fanatic. In addition, he has been published in many literary journals and won the occasional writing contest.

He is a Wisconsin native who still roots for his hometown Milwaukee Brewers. He is way too much into horror movies, and he is inexplicably still unable to tune his guitar properly.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

Comments

  1. Very true!

  2. This is ridiculous! The Muppets are supposed to be race and ethnic free that’s why they are frogs and pigs and are the colored purple, blue and red. Did you create a German or Vietnamese muppet? NO! Thank you Jim Henson for not treating us equally.

  3. A Latino muppet? It’s about time.

  4. wait, I thought Sesame Street already HAS a Latino muppet?

  5. Lol what?

  6. Rosita :)

  7. Yeah muppets are supposed to be ethnic free besides there is another Latina muppet. Why another? PC pandering to make more products in China to sell to dumb Latinos at Toys R Us. Latinos, you are so gullible to think this is groundbreaking -I dont know whether to laugh, or cry. Ka ching, ka as your wallets are drained. Actually I was hoping for a gay Latino muppet – that’s coming next, watch!

  8. I actually thought Elmo was a quirky Puerto Rican kid from the barrio anyway!

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