Sesame Street Fans React to Muppet Karli Revealing Her Mother Has an Opioid Addiction

In May, Sesame Street introduced a new character, a green Muppet with yellow hair named Karli, and on Wednesday, the show revealed that Karli's mother is battling substance abuse.

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Karli addressed her mom's addiction and recovery in a series of videos released by Sesame Workshop, one of which finds her telling Elmo and Chris about her mom's "problem" and the meetings her mom attends "every day so she stays healthy" as well as kids-only meetings where she spends time with other children dealing with the same issue.

The green Muppet was initially introduced as part of a foster care initiative and it was revealed this week that she was placed in foster care while her mom was in treatment. This is the first time that the show has addressed addiction in any capacity, Sherrie Westin, president of social impact and philanthropy for Sesame Workshop, told the New York Times.

Karli is the latest character introduced on Sesame Street to help address difficult issues — in 2011, the show introduced a Muppet named Lilly whose family was struggling with hunger and later homelessness, a Muppet named Alex with a father in prison was added in 2013 and Julia, an autistic Muppet, was introduced in 2015.

Many fans were happy to see the show choosing to address the disease of addiction and the impact it has on families.


Others feel that children in Sesame Street's age demographic don't need to be learning about addiction.

Photo Credit: Sesame Street