Frank Oz ‘Shocked’ That ‘Sesame Street’ Has Gotten Too Political

‘What has happened to the integrity of the character and the integrity of Sesame Workshop?’
Frank Oz ‘Shocked’ That ‘Sesame Street’ Has Gotten Too Political

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Tired of paying the regular price for your package of cookies only to find the treats inside have shrunk to half their old size? The Cookie Monster feels you.

Cookie Monster lamenting shrinkflation, especially when “me cookies are getting smaller,” doesn’t sound that controversial. But Frank Oz, longtime Muppets guy and original voice of Cookie Monster, wasn’t having it. He took to Twitter to gripe: “I’m shocked to see a news article on Cookie Monster talking about ‘shrinkflation.’ Jim would NEVER have allowed this. The SS Muppets need to live in their own pure world. Not our world. What has happened to the integrity of the character and the integrity of Sesame Workshop?”

What happened to all the integrity? After some consideration, Oz answered his own question: “I realize now what happened. My head and heart are still in the Sesame Street that existed when Joan Cooney was active in it and when Jim and Jon Stone were alive, and when I was still performing on it. But I have not kept up with it for years. I guess it's changed.”

It didn’t take long for Sesame Street fans to remind Oz about the show’s long legacy of dealing with political issues much thornier than shrinkflation. @ProfessorBurgos wrote, “Their own pure world. Like when Jesse Jackson was on the street in 1971. Or when Barbara Bush dropped by in 1990. Or when Gina and Savion were victims of hate crime stalking. Or when Grump Tower was (appropriately enough) being made out of garbage in 1988.”

“Is this satire?” asked @preachdnb. “The sesame street muppets have been a beacon of real world problems taught to our children in a manner they can understand. From hiv, racism, death, autism and even 911. To be completely honest, I think Jim would be more upset with your tweet.”

“haven’t the Sesame Street muppets been teaching kids about racism, sexism and generally how to resolve conflicts for like 50 years?” asked @MMSpidey84. “I don’t think they’ve ever lived in a fantasy utopia. That’s the whole point”

In the face of replies like these, Oz clarified his stance. “To clear something up, the real world does indeed need to come to Sesame Street,” he tweeted. “But that doesn't mean that The Muppet characters need to react in the same real-world way. The Muppet characters' reactions need to rise from their own naive and pure world.”

That appears to be just what Cookie Monster is doing. Rather than getting political about his shrinkflation problem, he has a naive, pure (and effective) solution. “Guess me going to have to eat double da cookies!”


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