Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka is the latest celebrity of Asian descent to make a guest appearance on the educational children’s television series “Sesame Street.”
The 24-year-old athlete will be sharing the importance of wearing sunscreen for all skin types in the new episode, which is set to premiere on streaming platform HBO Max on Jan. 6.
Osaka’s segment was recently uploaded to the series’ official YouTube channel, showing the four-time Grand Slam singles champion chatting with cast members Elmo, Gabrielle, Charlie and a character named Super Sunscreen.
As Osaka gets ready to give a tennis lesson to the muppets, she first explains why they all need to wear sunscreen, no matter what their skin color is.
“See, everybody’s skin has something called melanin in it. People with dark skin like you and me have lots of it,” Osaka tells Gabrielle, a Black muppet. She further explains that “we all have different amounts of melanin in our skin. That’s why our skin comes with so many different colors.”
In an interview with PopSugar, Osaka shared how excited she was about her “Sesame Street” guest appearance.
“I have worked with many talented people in my career, but sharing the stage with Elmo and his friends on ‘Sesame Street’ was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me,” she was quoted as saying. “I had a blast on set, made some new friends, and was able to talk about two things I am passionate about… tennis and education when it comes to sun protection. It was an honor and I am so excited for the episode to air.”
“Sesame Street” has featured other stars of Asian descent in the past. In Nov. 2021, Simu Liu and Padma Lakshmi made guest appearances to speak about the rise of anti-Asian hate. The show also introduced its first Asian American muppet named Ji-Young in the same month, as NextShark previously reported.