Words: Alastair James; pictures: 2021 Sesame Workshop/Richard Termine.
Can someone tell us how to get to Sesame Street? We’ve been dying to go for years... And now there’s even more of a reason to, after the introduction of the first LGBTQ-parent family on the show.
Proving the kids' TV show is a safe and inclusive place, the show’s ‘Family Day’ episode on Thursday (17 June) featured two gay dads and their daughter.
The programme saw character Nina introduce her brother Dave, his husband Frank, and their daughter Mia to Big Bird, Elmo and friends, who were gathering for a party.
“Sesame Street has always been a welcoming place of diversity and inclusion”
The family was portrayed by Chris Costa, Alex Weisman, and Olivia Perez respectively.
The episode’s co-director and actor, Alan Muraoka, posted on Facebook saying: “I'm so excited to introduce Nina's Brother Dave, his husband Frank, and their daughter Mia to our sunny street.
“I am so honored and humbled to have co-directed this important and milestone episode. Love is love, and we are so happy to add this special family to our Sesame family. Happy Pride to all!!!!”
“Love and acceptance are always the most important ingredients in a family”
The show has been praised for continuing its commitment to inclusion with many applauding it online.
GLAAD President, Sarah Kate Ellis, tweeted: “The ‘Family Day’ episode of Sesame Street sends the simple and important message that families come in all forms and that love and acceptance are always the most important ingredients in a family.”
The ‘Family Day’ episode of Sesame Street sends the simple and important message that families come in all forms and that love and acceptance are always the most important ingredients in a family. https://t.co/vpu64aEurS— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) June 18, 2021
The show has a long history of diversity and tackling serious issues, such as HIV and AIDS, for a young audience. It has also featured various LGBTQ stars over its 52-year run, including Lil Nas X, Billy Porter, and Ellen DeGeneres. It also made a show of support for LGBTQs when it recreated the Pride flag using some of its most beloved characters.
Mark Saltzman, the writer who created Bert and Ernie, confirmed in 2018 that he considers the pair to be a couple. This was subsequently denied by the show, with a rep saying they're "best friends".
Sure, we've heard that one before!
Watch a clip from the episode below:
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