What Is Sesame Street Teaching Our Kids Besides the ABCs?!*
In recent months, the long-running children’s program has seen openly gay
stars Wanda Sykes and Neil Patrick Harris on the show, spoofed the
gay-friendly *True Blood*, and featured a will.i.am performance of “What I
Am,” a tune about accepting who you really are, which triggered Internet
speculation about its message.
That followed a June 11 tweet from Bert ? who, along with roommate *Ernie,
has long been suspected by fans to be gay ?* that read: “Ever notice how
similar my hair is to Mr. T’s? The only difference is mine is a little more
‘mo,’ a little less ‘hawk.'” “Mo” can be slang for homosexual.
Though there is *an uptick in gay-friendly content*, Ellen Lewis, *Sesame
Street*’s vice president of corporate communications, told the *Los Angeles
Times* that the show is not deliberately reaching out to a gay audience.
VIDEO: *Sesame Street* spoofs Old Spice commercial
“We’ve always reached out to a variety of actors and athletes and
celebrities to appear on the show, and our programming has always appealed
to adults as much as children,” she says. “Honestly, the idea that anyone
would interpret [this season] that way never crossed our minds.”
Lewis’ comment echoes her statement from three years ago when Sesame
Workshop issued a cease-and-desist letter to filmmaker Peter Spears, whose
film *Ernest & Bertram* depicted Bert and Ernie as a gay couple. Bert and
Ernie “do not portray a gay couple, and there are no plans for them to do so
in the future. They are puppets, not humans,” Lewis said then.
*Sesame Street* and Big Bird feel 40 years young
Whether or not *Sesame Street* is consciously appealing to gays, GLAAD
President Jarrett Barrios believes the PBS series is reflecting the changing
times. *”As more and more loving and committed gay and lesbian couples begin
families, it’s important that their children see representations of their
families on their favorite shows,” the head of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance
Against Defamation told the Times. “Sesame Street has a long history of
teaching children about diversity and acceptance, and I don’t expect that
our community will be left out of that education.” ***
Katy Perry video pulled from *Sesame Street*
Perhaps the biggest sign of such acceptance came last month when the show
nixed a segment with Katy Perry after parents complained about her low-cut
dress, Michael Jensen, editor in chief of AfterElton.com, told the paper.
“The fact that more people have objected to Katy Perry’s cleavage than they
have to the *True Blood* spoof shows how far we’ve come in this gay rights
movement,” he said.
Do you think *Sesame Street* has become more gay-friendly?
Comment: Two men sharing a bedroom for 40 years and how many bathroom scenes
with the rubber ducky which leads one to believe that Ernie is actually a
child can become quite confusing to a child. Well maybe not. My kids told me
years ago before all this uproar that Bert and Ernie were “gay”.
Subhaanallaah, and I thought I was being a good mother by allowing my kids
to watch Sesame Street instead of cartoons. So when my kids said that Bert
and Ernie were homosexual, I was blown away. Allaahu Musta?aan!