This Father's Day, "Sesame Street
" celebrated with a new episode featuring a same-sex couple.
Day” episode, which debuted on HBO Max
last week, features a scene in which Nina (played by Suki Lopez) introduces Elmo and his friends
to her brother Dave (Chris Costa) and his husband, Frank (Alex Weisman), as well as their daughter, Mia (Olivia Perez).
In a Facebook
post on June 17, actor Alan Muroaka stated that he was "honored and humbled" to have co-directed "Family Day," which he described as "an important and landmark episode."
“‘Sesame Street’ has always been a welcoming place of diversity
and inclusion,” Muroaka, who also plays Alan on the show, wrote. “Love is love, and we are so happy to add this special family to our Sesame family. Happy Pride
A number of LGBTQ
advocacy groups applauded the episode's discovery.
“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,” GLAAD President
Sarah Kate Ellis wrote in a statement.
“Family Day” is just one of many visible steps taken by “Sesame Street” creators to increase inclusivity on the children
’s show, which celebrated its 50th anniversary
Queer stars such as Ellen DeGeneres
, Billy Eichner, and, most recently, Lil Nas X
have all made guest appearances on the show over the years, and in early 2020, actor and gender-fluid fashion
icon Billy Porter
appeared in an episode wearing the Christian Siriano-designed velvet tuxedo gown he debuted on the 2019 Academy Awards red carpet
Earlier this year, the show debuted a digital segment with two new Black muppets
for a discussion about race.
However, in 2018, former writer
Mark Saltzman sparked controversy by claiming that his Bert and Ernie storylines were influenced by his real-life relationship and, as a result, he came to view the characters as "a loving couple."
Later, the Emmy winner told The New York Times
that his comments had been misconstrued, and that he saw Bert and Ernie as "two guys who love each other."