Sesame Street has a long history of bringing important issues and powerful messages to children and families within their show. On Saturday morning, the beloved puppets and CNN teamed up for an educational special titled Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism to talk to kids and adults about racism and the ongoing nationwide protests amid George Floyd's death.
The hour-long special was moderated by Big Bird, CNN political commentator Van Jones and national correspondent Erica Hill. Coming Together began with Elmo and his dad, Louie, having a deep conversation about what racism is and what the protests mean.
"Daddy, Elmo doesn't understand. What's happening, why are these people together," he asked, as his father told him they are protesting. "Protest? Elmo doesn't understand. What's a protest?"
As he explained what that means, Elmo asked if the people were sad, to which Louie replied, "Yes."
"They are sad and upset, and they have every right to be Elmo. People are upset because racism is a huge problem in our country," Louie continued, before explaining what racism means. "Racism is when people treat other people unfairly because of the way they look or the color of their skin. Not all streets are like Sesame Street. On Sesame Street, we all love and respect one another. Across the country, people of color, especially in the black community, are being treated unfairly because of how they look, their culture, race and who they are."
"What we are seeing is people saying, 'Enough is enough.' They want to end racism," Louie added.
“Not all streets are like Sesame Street. … What we are seeing is people saying 'enough is enough.' They want to end racism.”@Elmo’s dad Louie explains why people are protesting across the US. https://t.co/icV04F4FNW #CNNSesameStreet pic.twitter.com/1efrMAzZ8V— CNN (@CNN) June 6, 2020
The special also featured Sesame Street's Abby Cadabby sharing a story about how Bird Bird has been a victim of prejudice and how he gets teased for his size and color. Abby also learned what empathy means and the importance of taking a stand to help her family and friends.