Sesame Street and CNN's Town Hall Deliver Powerful Message About Racism

Sesame Street's Elmo and his dad discussed racism and shared a powerful message with viewers tuning into the CNN Town Hall.
By Alyssa Morin Jun 06, 2020 3:46 PMTags
Elmo, Louie, Sesame StreetHBO

On Saturday morning, CNN and Sesame Street joined forces to educated kids and adults about important issues with an hour-long special titled: Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism. A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Families.

The show touched on topics such as racism and the recent nationwide protests, which have been in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and in light of George Floyd's death—who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer on Monday, May 25.

Kicking things off, Elmo and his dad Louie delivered a powerful message about racism.

"Daddy, Elmo doesn't understand. What's happening, why are these people together," Elmo asked and learned from his dad that people are gathered around because they're protesting. "Protest? Elmo doesn't understand. What's a protest?"

Louie explained, "A protest is when people come together to show they are upset and disagree about something. They want to make others aware of the problem. Through protesting, people are able to share their feelings and work together to make things better. They make signs like this... I'm bringing my sign to the protest at the community center later."

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When Elmo wondered if the protesters were feeling sad, his dad said, "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."

Related: Ariana Grande & More Protest Over George Floyd's Death

Elmo told his dad he doesn't know what racism means, to which Louie replied, "Racism is when people treat other people unfairly because of the way they look or the color of the skin."

"The color of their skin? Elmo doesn't understand, Daddy. Elmo has friends with different types of skin and fur too—black, brown, tan, purple…," the little one shared.

His dad responded, "I know Elmo, not all streets are like Sesame Street. On Sesame Street, we all love and respect one and another. But 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."

"Elmo wants to end racism too. Elmo wants everybody to be treated fairly," the beloved character said.

In addition to Elmo's conversation with his dad, CNN also brought in Abby Cadabby. The fan-favorite character opened up about witnessing Big Bird being bullied due to his "color" and "size."

"It wasn't kind, and it wasn't fair...," Abby explained. "I wouldn't want to be treated like that. So I understand how Big Bird was upset."

To see the one-hour special, viewers can watch it on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español. You can catch up and stream the program on CNN's site and mobile devices. The network is also sharing snippets of each interview on their social media accounts.