Written by Nancy Lee, as part of her Social Marketing Sightings theme.
Sighted on: Local News
Social Issue: Racism
Social Marketing Strategy: Popular Entertainment Promoting Action for Kids to Take
A local TV news channel featured a former Sesame Street actor, Roscoe Orman, engaging with children in activities to influence kids to “take action” when exposed to racist comments and actions. The following copy from an article By The Associated Press presents more detail about this movement.
“Sesame Street” has always pressed for inclusion. Now in the wake of the national reckoning on race, it’s going further — teaching children to stand up against racism.
Sesame Workshop — the nonprofit, educational organization behind “Sesame Street” — will later this month air the half-hour anti-racist special “The Power of We” and hopes families will watch together.
The special defines racism for younger viewers and shows how it can be hurtful. It urges children who encounter racism or hear someone else be the victim of it to call it out. “When you see something that’s wrong, speak up and say, ‘That’s wrong’ and tell an adult,” 6-year-old Gabrielle the Muppet advises.
The special, composed of little skits and songs in a Zoom-like format, will stream on HBO Max and PBS Kids and air on PBS stations beginning Oct. 15.In one animated skit, a Black Muppet is told by a white Muppet that he can’t dress up like a superhero because they’re only white. Though hurt, the Black Muppet nevertheless refuses to stop playing superheroes, saying they can come in all colors. The white Muppet soon apologizes. “Racism hurts and it’s wrong,” is the message.