Always trying to be ahead of the game when it comes to inclusion, children's TV stalwart, Sesame Street, has introduced its first gay couple to the show. Once again increasing representation for the many diverse groups of people across the world. The episode, which aired for Pride Month, saw the cast of colorful puppets and Sesame Street residents preparing a celebration. As Big Bird, Elmo, Alan, Charlie, Abby Cadabby and others made arrangements, the guest list included Nina's brother Dave, who she said was coming with his family. When they arrived, Dave's family consisted of husband Frank and daughter Mia in a moment that was described as a "milestone" by Alan Muraoka.
Writing in a post on Facebook, co-director, Alan Muraoka, said, "Sesame Street has always been a welcoming place of diversity and inclusion. So I'm so excited to introduce Nina's brother Dave, his husband Frank, and their daughter Mia to our sunny street. Our Family Day episode drops today on HBOMax and on YouTube(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iph6Sj44Zpo.) 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!!!!"
Over its long history, Sesame Street has always endeavored to ensure its cast is as inclusive of the changing diversity of America as possible, without ever needing to become preachy or forced. The latest introduction of a family with two dads was noted for being done in a very "natural way" by Christy Tirrell-Corbin, the executive director of the Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention at the University of Maryland.
She said, "One of the many wonderful things about young children is they are very accepting - it's really when they are exposed to attitudes or context where there's bias that they begin to develop those biases. There was no, 'this is a different type of family than you're used to.' It was just, 'this is one of many types of families."
Going back to the early years of Sesame Street, there has never been a time when the series has not been inclusive of different races and genders, as well as striving to raise awareness in children about conditions such as autism and disabilities that make a growing number of children, and adults, different from each other. Through introducing a range of characters, the show has aimed to educate children that there is nothing wrong with being different from an early age; when, as noted by Tirrell-Corbin, children are unaware of prejudice that can develop later.
While this type of inclusion is always going to gain criticism from some, it is likely only this kind of resetting of the world that will allow everyone to be more free with what they can say and do. If a new generation are freed of constant issues around race, gender, and orientation through just seeing everyone as a person and not a type of person, then maybe we will see cancel culture cancel itself and everyone can go back to enjoying movies and TV shows, as well as life in general, without the current state of trepidation.