3 Sesame Street characters that broke the TV mold

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By: Dave Taylor | Frenchie Aguilh Posted: 9:32 PM, Mar 22, 2017

Sesame Street is making news recently with its first new character in a decade: Meet Julia, a puppet Street producers hope kids everywhere will be able to learn from as she'll have an important message to share, one that will be appreciated by the approximately 1 in 45 kids who have been diagnosed with autism.

Sesame Street producers said that there's no perfect way to depict autism with one character, and they can't fit every autism earmark in her personality, but they did give her a few that are recognizable or they hope will become so, helping encourage children and adults to be more sensitive and empathetic to those with autism. Learn more about Julia here and while she's the first new muppet in a decade, Sesame Street isn't new to bringing different people, cultures, and walks of life to the forefront of its show. Here are three other characters that changed the cultural landscape of Sesame Street for the better.

1. Rosita La Monstrua de las Cuevas

Rosita the Monster of the Caves sticks in many of our memories as a muppet that spoke both English and Spanish. She would often teach children a Spanish word of the day and educated children about Latin American culture. Eventually, she became the first Latina muppet to join the Sesame Street cast full time.

2. Segi Loves Her Hair

Joey Mazzarino, a puppeteer and head writer for Sesame Street wrote a song called "I Love My Hair" to make his daughter feel better about not finding dolls to play with that had African American hair like hers. Sesame Street creators introduced the puppet Segi, named after Mazzarino's daughter, to sing the song that became a comfort to African American women and girls as a positive reminder that being different isn't just okay; it's something about yourself that you should love.

3. Linda the Librarian

Linda Bove helped familiarize Sesame Street viewers with hard of hearing or deaf individuals when she appeared on the show as a librarian who used sign language to communicate with muppets and other characters. Behind the scenes, Bove worked with writers to make sure her librarian character was authentic and representative of hard of hearing individuals like her. In 2004, Bove left the show after more than three decades portraying Linda the Librarian, the longest running television role for a deaf character.

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