Even a decades-old children’s show that’s had tons of characters can still be more diverse!
In Sesame Street, everyone is welcome, and for its “Family Day” episode, the famed children’s show featured a family with two gay fathers, a first in its 52-year history.
In the episode, Nina welcomed her brother Dave who came with his husband Frank, played by Chris Costa and Alex Weisman, respectively, as well as their sole daughter Mia, played by Olivia Perez. Dave and Frank paid Elmo and friends a visit to celebrate Family Day with the group.
While the show didn’t delve deeper into the family’s background nor talked about same-sex marriages, Frank did leave a message to the other families in the celebration, and to audiences at home.
“Yeah, there’s all kinds of different families, but what makes us a family is that we love each other.”
Dave and Frank’s visit to the show is a landmark moment for the show, one which Alan Muraoka, who plays Alan on Sesame Street, was ecstatic to be a part of.
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,” said Muraoka, who joined the cast back in 1998 as the owner of Hooper’s Store on Sesame Street. “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!!!!”
While this is the first time Sesame Street has met such a milestone, it has had to tackle the subject of homosexuality in the past. Back in 2018, Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind the children’s show, shot down rumors that Bert and Ernie were gay, clarifying that all the Sesame Street characters were created with human traits but they “remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation.”
Celebrating the introduction of a family with two gay fathers, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis tweeted that “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.”
“Frank and Dave, as Mia’s dads, are the latest characters in an undeniable trend of inclusion across kids & family programming, one that allows millions of proud LGBTQ parents, and our children, to finally get to see families like ours reflected on TV,” she added.