July 5th, 2015
02:38 PM ET

Mexican American actor & "Luis" from Sesame Street Emilio Delgado discusses Trump's comments and more on Reliable Sources

Today on CNN’s Reliable Sources, actor who played “Luis” from Sesame Street, Emilio Delgado, joined host Brian Stelter to discuss his feelings about Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants and how Sesame Street aimed to teach children how to live and love one another despite their differences.

Reliable Sources airs Sundays, 11 a.m. to noon (ET).

Video and text highlights and a full transcript from the show are available below.

Credit all usage to CNN’s “Reliable Sources”

 

Emilio Delgado, the actor who plays "Luis" on Sesame Street, speaks about Donald Trump's racially-tinged remarks and the power of children's media.

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS:

Delgado on his feelings about Donald Trump’s comments on Mexican immigrants: “…It was immediate, because you are denigrating my people that I come from, being a Mexican-American. I was born in this country, but, still, everybody that comes from the south is part of my family. It was hard to believe that somebody was saying these words in this day and age, you know?”

Delgado on Sesame Street exposing children how to live & love one another: “Well, I'm glad you brought up the point, because in the whole time that I have been on the show, in the whole time of the Sesame Street's existence, the only thing that we have tried to do is create a window to the world out there–all of the beautiful things in the world, so that the children can be exposed to other things besides what they know themselves–that are still human beings, and that we can all live together. …We are all living in the same neighborhood, different people from different backgrounds, different ethnicities–speaking different languages. It was the perfect ideal for what America could be.”

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST: Welcome back. There has been so much talk about Donald Trump's talk, the way he described Mexican immigrants, calling some of them rapists.  It's become at this point part of a deeper national discussion of race and ethnicity.

While offensive words about immigration tend to divide people, there are ways to bring people together with words.  And you know which television show knows a lot about that?  Sesame Street, yes, the iconic children's show Sesame Street.

And joining me here on set the actor Emilio Delgado, who plays Luis on Sesame Street and is Mexican-American.

Thanks for being here.

EMILIO DELGADO, ACTOR:  Oh, you're very welcome.

STELTER:  Of course, you play an iconic character, but you have got strong feelings about this in real life.  Your outrage was certainly not delayed.

DELGADO:  No, it was not. It was immediate, because you are denigrating my people that I come from, being a Mexican-American.  I was born in this country, but, still, everybody that comes from the south is part of my family.  It was hard to believe that somebody was saying these words in this day and age, you know?

STELTER:  So, let's cast Donald Trump on Sesame Street.

(LAUGHTER)

STELTER:  What would he be told on Sesame Street?

(LAUGHTER)

DELGADO:  That makes me laugh.  I'm sorry. Most probably, he would have - most probably, he would have a tete-a-tete with Oscar the Grouch.

(LAUGHTER)

STELTER:  Do you think Trump is even grouchier?

DELGADO:  I don't know about that.  I mean, Oscar the Grouch is pretty grouchy, but I think he could beat him.

STELTER:  I do wonder if working in children's media makes you more optimistic about future generations or younger generations currently and about tolerance.

DELGADO:  Yes.

STELTER:  Because there's been stories recently that say a lot of millennials hold some of the same racist views that older generations do...

DELGADO:  Yes.  Yes.

STELTER: ...contrary to maybe what people want to believe.

DELGADO:  Well, I'm glad you brought up the point, because in the whole time that I have been on the show, in the whole time of the Sesame Street's existence, the only thing that we have tried to do is create a window to the world out there...

STELTER:  Yes.

DELGADO:  ...all of the - all of the beautiful things in the world, so that the children can be exposed to other things besides what they know themselves, to make them see that there are other people that are different from them, but that are still human beings, and that we can all live together.

I mean, that's what Sesame Street was.  We are all living in the same neighborhood, different people from different backgrounds, different ethnicities–speaking different languages.  It was the perfect ideal for what America could be.

STELTER:  That's the power of both the news and entertainment media when used effectively, to show us the other.

DELGADO:  Yes.

STELTER:  Thanks for being here.  Great talking with you.

DELGADO:  You're very welcome, Brian.  Thank you very much.

END INTERVIEW

 


Topics: Brian Stelter • CNN • Reliable Sources
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