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Rachael Dutta, 7-year-old Girl From New Jersey Stars in ‘Sesame Street’ Episode Debuting First Asian American Muppet

Rachael Dutta, 7-year-old Girl From New Jersey Stars in ‘Sesame Street’ Episode Debuting First Asian American Muppet

  • The second-grader joined the all-star cast for “See Us Come Together,” as the daughter of the Menon family.

Rachael Dutta, a 7-year-old Indian American girl from Chatham, New Jersey, starred in an episode of “Sesame Street” on Thanksgiving Day, that debuted the series’ first Asian-American muppet Ji-Young. Rachael joined the all-star cast for “Neighbor Day” in the episode titled “See Us Come Together,” which explored the rich diversity of Asian and Pacific Islander communities, as Ji-Young and her friends meet an array of neighbors who share their passions, talents, and cultures, along with important lessons about empathy and acceptance. It also focused on the customs and gifts the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have brought to the United States. 

A second-grader at the Milton Avenue School, Rachael is the daughter of Kinshuk Dutta and Noirita Bera. On TV, she was seen as the daughter of the Menon family. She wore a three-piece red lehenga choli, “later swapping her outfit in another scene for a sports jersey, then running to go play on a field with her TV brother,” reported The Patch. 

Ji-Young, a Korean American, is also a 7-years-old, and enjoys skateboarding and playing electric guitar. The Associated Press reported earlier that the creative team at Sesame Street decided to introduce characters like Ji-Young following the death of George Floyd and the reported rise in Asian-American hate incidents in 2020, with Black American Muppet Tamir — also recently introduced — the first Muppet to speak about racism.

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Being a part of “See Us Coming Together” was Rachael’s first appearance in a television episode, Bera told Patch, adding that her daughter began working before she turned four, “in short films, commercials, voiceovers, episodes and print campaigns.” She has been seen in the Netflix/Moonbug show “Cocomelon,” as well as in ads for NIKE, The North Face, UNICEF and an environmental PSA for the United Nations, according to her profile in Casting Networks. 

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