Sesame Street is making strides by simultaneously educating and inspiring young children, and adults alike, during Autism Awareness Month. A few weeks ago, fans learned about the groundbreaking addition of Julia, Sesame Street's first character who has autism. Now, audiences get a behind-the-scenes peek at the decision to create Julia, what led to her role, and how the other muppets interact with, and wholeheartedly accept, her. It's truly moving. You may be wondering, when does Julia's Sesame Street episode air? Luckily, it won't be long before audiences will be completely inspired by this beautiful initiative.
According to a press release, the episode "Meet Julia" will premiere on HBO on Monday, April 10 at 8-8:30 a.m. ET (as well as on HBO Family, HBO Latino, HBO.com, HBO Kids’ YouTube channel, partnering platforms, and on-demand channels). This will be an event to mark on your calendar. As the release of HBO's "Meet Julia Featurette" proves, the episode will not disappoint. Julia is what viewers needs right now — regardless of their age.
Julia changes the Sesame Street characters' dynamic and further allows children to understand and celebrate others who aren't exactly like them. Based on the video, Julia is proud of who she is and she doesn't hide it. "Like many kids with autism, she's got her own way of doing things," says writer Christine Ferraro in the clip. Julia will surely move fans, and she already inspired the Sesame Street team in the process.
Artist Louis Henry Mitchell explains that his time volunteering at a school, and encountering a bright young girl in particular, gave him "everything [he] needed" in terms of inspiration for Julia's character. "I started to do a little thinking about, not so much what the little girl looked like, but how she felt like, how she made me feel," he says in the video.
The crew even went through a specific audition process to find an actor who had experience with someone on the autism spectrum. Turns out, the puppeteer behind Julia has a son with autism. "My son gets to see someone like him on Sesame Street," Stacey Gordon says with pride. "It's an honor."
The way the other characters treat Julia is also important. "This is our friend, Julia," Elmo explains to Big Bird, who later says, "We can all be friends." Acceptance is a crucial message for everyone right now, especially seeing how Julia is more than a child labeled with autism. She's just another kid, proving that everyone has their unique traits, but they're not all that different at the end of the day.