We all know Grover, Elmo, Big Bird and Count von Count. And of course we know Bert and Ernie, Oscar, and Mr. Snuffleupagus, too. And now, the most famous street on television is about to get a brand new character, and we have to say that she’s already won over our hearts.
Get ready to meet Julia, one of the first new Muppets to come to beloved children’s series Sesame Street in a long time. But the fact that she’s a new addition isn’t what’s getting everyone excited; it’s the fact that she’s also the first character with autism.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) March 20, 2017
That’s right, Julia is coming to TV screens (on HBO and PBS) on April 10, but her presence is already a hit with Sesame Street related books and digital properties. The red-haired four-year-old carries a stuffed rabbit and repeats a lot of what the other Muppets say, and in her grand debut she will ignore Big Bird, of all characters.
“Maybe she didn’t like me,” Big Bird says in the scene.
“She just does things a little differently,” is the response from the other characters.
We love that the children on the street immediately embrace Julia’s differences, as it not only teaches kids in real life to embrace other kids who may be different than they are, but it also shines a spotlight on autism, which affects one out of 68 children in Canada.
— Fiona Adorno (@FionaAdorno) March 20, 2017
As if we needed another reason to love the show that helps teach kids cerebral and life lessons while also entertaining us adults through Game of Thrones and Mad Men parodies.
#sesamestreet SO VERY EXCITED AND PROUD OF SESAME STREET INTRODUCING AN AUTISTIC CHARACTER.
— soyousay (@soyousay13) March 20, 2017
What makes Julia even more relevant is that her puppeteer, Stacey Gordon, has a child who falls on the autism spectrum. So the performer not only brings personal experience to the role, but she also has a personal investment in making sure kids respond to Julia.
“Had my son’s friends been exposed to his behaviours through something that they had seen on TV before they experienced them in the classroom, they might not have been frightened,” Gordon told newsmagazine program 60 Minutes on Sunday night. “They might not have been worried when he cried. They would have known that he plays in a different way, and that that’s okay.”
— chire (@itschire) March 20, 2017
Apparently Julia has been in the works for about three years, so her debut has been a long time coming for the makers of the show. But it’s also a longtime coming for kids with autism and their parents, who really will finally be able to see a show that reflects their lives.
And that right there is why people keep asking how to get to Sesame Street, nearly 50 years later.