Sesame Street still changing lives today

By Thomas Antonelle

 

Now a father of two, Joseph Mazzarino has transformed the way young African-American girls feel about there hair.

A director, puppeteer, and head writer for Sesame Street, Mazzarino was introduced to this issue when he and his wife adopted their first daughter from Ethiopia.

“I started to notice when she was four that she was having a problem with her hair and she wanted “princess” hair, and I started to think this was a unique problem to us because we are white parents with an African-American daughter, and then Chris Rock’s film came out, “Good Hair,” and we thought, oh, wow this is actually a broader issue.”

With Sesame Street being a source of information for so many young children, the long time Sesame writer felt it was important to finally bring this issue to light, in a Sesame Street way.

“We had finished writing for the season, and I asked my executive producer if I could try to write this song real quick and we can slip it in the schedule somewhere. She said sure.”

A few months later, the video has become a youtube sensation with over four million views today and there was even a remix done by Willow Smith, the daughter of Will Smith.

Mazzarino has been with the Muppets since 1989 and has been a writer and puppeteer since 1990.

Having two young daughters, Joey has definitely won the “coolest dad award.”


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