Sesame Street introduces the first Filipino muppet named “TJ”
“Sesame Street” recently introduced its first-ever Filipino American muppet named TJ, marking the first Asian American character to join the show since Ji-Young, an Asian American muppet introduced in a Thanksgiving episode 2021.
Sesame Street’s new character TJ made his debut in a video where he, alongside actor Kal Pen, “Sesame Street” veteran Grover, and Ji-Young, learned about the meaning of the word “confidence.”
In the short video, TJ expressed his commitment to learning Tagalog, his family’s language, stating that he feels confident in his language journey because he can always turn to his “Lola” (grandmother) for assistance when encountering unfamiliar words.
Bobby Pontillas, a Filipino American artist and animator, shared preliminary sketches of TJ’s character on Instagram, revealing that he collaborated with master puppeteer Louis Mitchell to bring the Filipino American boy to life.
Pontillas mentioned that his lifelong friends, Max and Mateo, inspired TJ’s appearance.
Rosemary Espina Palcios, the director of talent outreach, inclusion, and content development at “Sesame Street,” is proud to contribute Filipino representation to the Sesame Street neighborhood.