Sesame Street recently hired its first ever Latino executive producer.
Sal Perez, a Mexican American, was named executive producer in January after decades of the show being a hit in both the United States and across the southern border.
According to Axios, the show is in production for its 53rd season. Perez had previously worked on producing many bilingual projects for Latin America at Sesame Workshop, which is the nonprofit that makes Sesame-related products.
“I grew up with Sesame Street and Plaza Sésamo. I’m a first generation Mexican American, and those shows portrayed my family’s two cultures like nothing else on children’s television at the time,” he said. “That experience has stayed with me throughout and I want to bring a global perspective to everything we do.”
Plaza Sésamo was among one of the first versions of the show in a foreign country, but Sesame Street quickly spread to about 20 other countries by the mid 2000s. Sesame Street debuted in 1969, which Plaza Sésamo shortly followed in 1972.
Over the course of its life, Plaza Sésamo has played an important role in health, safety, and education initiatives in Latin America. There are some notable differences between the two versions of the show, but the most significant are the cast, the song, and Big Bird.
The song has been slightly tweaked, saying “Come play, come sing, whether you’re from here or from there.” Additionally, Big Bird’s counterpart in the show is Abelardo Montoya, a lime green parrot.
ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: AXIOS