She has two pigtails, wears a yellow jacket, is quite cheeky and uses a wheelchair - "Sesame Street" has a new resident. The doll is called Elin and is seven years old. This is the first time that a character with a disability has strengthened the German puppet ensemble, said the Norddeutsche Rundfunk (NDR) on Sunday in Hamburg.
"The German "Sesame Street" has been colorful and diverse for 50 years. Monsters and people of all skin and fur colors are at home here," said NDR program director Frank Beckmann, according to the announcement. In the past, children with disabilities were shown and explained how they live and what they can do on "Sesame Street". "Now the world of dolls is becoming a bit more inclusive."
Idea for new character
The impetus for the new character came from the Equal Opportunities Officer at NDR, René Schaar. According to the information, the aim in developing the new doll was also that all children should feel equally represented in "Sesame Street".
"Elin uses the wheelchair because she can't walk very well," Schaar said of the new doll. "But this aspect shouldn't dominate too much. Being disabled is just one of the many characteristics that define Elin. As NDR, we are called upon to make the potential of disabled people visible and to contribute to openness towards them. Elin helps us on this way."
Elin has a great interest in technology and numbers, she likes to do handicrafts and often finds surprising solutions. She's also bold and confident, and a little impatient when things don't go perfectly right away. Elin was built by the Jim Henson Company, the wheelchair comes from the NDR workshops. The puppet is played by Iris Schleuss and hand player Charlie Kaiser.
First appearance in the new season
Elin will make her television debut in the fall. Then the new, 50th season of the children's program will be shown on television, on the Internet and in the ARD media library. Elin made her debut as a challenger to Cookie Monster in an episode of "Prima Klima," the new "Sesame Street" quiz show spoof. The series addresses environmental and climate protection issues in an entertaining and child-friendly way.
The anniversary season is currently being produced in Hamburg. Filming will continue until the end of March.