Sal Pérez, the first Latino executive producer of Sesame Street
He was named the show’s new vice president and executive producer earlier this year.
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For the first time in its 52-year history, Sesame Street has a Latino executive producer as part of its executive team.
In January, Sal Pérez was named the long-running show’s new vice president and executive producer, replacing Ben Lehmann who stepped down after five seasons.
Pérez is a first-generation Mexican American with more than 14 years of experience producing international and domestic content for the nonprofit organization behind the popular children’s series.
In this new role, Pérez is responsible for overseeing the production and creative direction of the series and related domestic social impact productions, digital projects and themed entertainment experiences.
“Sal is a strong leader and an incredible collaborator with invaluable production expertise and a deep love for all things Sesame,” said Kay Wilson Stallings, executive vice president of creative and production for Sesame Street. “I look forward to partnering with him and tapping his global perspective as we plan the future of the Sesame Street brand, helping kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder in our increasingly connected world.”
Throughout his tenure on the executive team, Pérez has produced bilingual content for many of the organization’s biggest social impact initiatives, including Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children, and a public service announcement campaign to encourage participation in the 2020 U.S. Census.
During the pandemic, he oversaw the creation of animated Sesame Street Muppet resources that reached families across 30 countries in 10 different languages.
Pérez’s career with the show began on Plaza Sésamo, the Mexican co-production of Sesame Street, where he served as a producer for several years and oversaw Sesame production with broadcaster Televisa.
He also produced Sesame Amigos, a Spanish-language series for Univision in the United States. Pérez holds a Bachelor's degree in film/video production from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
With on-screen Latino representation present throughout the show’s history — including the hiring of Jaime Sanchez in 1970 as Miguel, the first Latino cast member on the show; Maria Rodriguez, played by Puerto Rican actress Sonia Manzano; the late Emilio Delgado, who played Luis Rodriguez on the show for over 45 years; and Rosita, the Mexican-American Muppet who was the first to be bilingual — the behind-the-scenes Latino representation is just as critically important.
Sesame Street’s 53rd season is set to debut this fall.