Elmo and his Sesame Street neighbors — furry monsters and humans alike — teamed up for a town hall on racism that aired Saturday morning on CNN, moderated by CNN political commentator Van Jones, CNN anchor Erica Hill, and CNN’s newest and tallest correspondent, Big Bird. The event was a big one for Elmo, who learned about racism and the reason for nationwide protesting from his dad, Louie. “Racism is when people treat other people unfairly because of the way they look or the color of their skin,” Louie explained to Elmo. “Not all streets are like Sesame Street. On Sesame Street, we all love and respect on another. 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.”
The town hall also included a personal story from Abby Cadabby, who shared a story about how Big Bird was once bullied for his yellow feathers. “Like a lot of people I’m very upset,” she said. “I’m upset at how my friends across the country are being treated and I know it’s not right.” Also featured on the town hall were longtime Sesame Street neighbors Gordon and Maria, who have been reminded of their experiences fighting for civil rights in the 1960s. “Unfortunately, this change has taken a very long time. It’s frustrating and unbelievable to me that we’re still fighting the very same fight and dealing with the very same issues that we dealt with on Sesame Street in 1969. It breaks my heart. No child or grown up should have to deal with being treated unfairly,” Maria said.