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Tag: sesame street

Fox News Pushes To Defund PBS After 'Sesame Street' Adds Asian American Puppet

Fox News is promoting a conservative campaign to defund the Public Broadcasting Service for "bringing race into" its programming and encouraging viewers to get vaccinated. At the center of conservatives' latest culture war is Sesame Street, the iconic children's television show.

In a Thursday Fox & Friends First appearance, American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp called to defund PBS over the network's attempts to make its programming more inclusive of race and gender identity. Schlapp specifically attacked the producers of Sesame Street for recently adding an Asian American puppet to its regular cast of characters.

"They're trying to bring race into Ernie and Bert," Schlapp said, referring to two male puppets who live together on the fictional Sesame Street.

On Monday, Sesame Workshop announced that it would introduce the character Ji-Young — the first Asian American puppet in Sesame Street history — as part of an upcoming special titled See Us Coming Together. The show's producers told the Associated Press that the new character is part of an effort to teach children how to be a good "upstander."

"Being an upstander means you point out things that are wrong or something that someone does or says that is based on their negative attitude towards the person because of the color of their skin or the language they speak or where they're from," Wilson Stallings, executive vice-president of Creative and Production for Sesame Workshop, told the news outlet.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has seen a wave of hate crimes against Asian Americans. Bystanders have often played witness to such attacks without stepping in to stop them, leading some advocacy groups to organize bystander intervention training sessions. Former President Donald Trump, for his part, has fanned the flames of racist violence by repeatedly using the term "China flu" to refer to the virus.


‘Sesame Street’ Joins HBO, In Sign Of Children’s Shows’ Value

By Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

Tyrion Lannister, meet Big Bird.

HBO, the network behind decidedly not-kid-friendly shows such as “Game of Thrones” and “True Detective,” says it will now air Sesame Street.

Time Warner Inc.-owned HBO on Thursday announced a deal with the nonprofit Sesame Workshop to make the next five seasons of the long-running educational program available on its cable channels and streaming services.

New episodes will continue to air on PBS, the series’ home of 45 years, nine months after they debut on HBO.

The Sesame-HBO deal comes as digital rivals including Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have been ramping up investment in children’s programming to go after crucial young viewers.

Hulu last year expanded its distribution deal with Nickelodeon owner Viacom Inc., adding shows including The Ren & Stimpy Show and Hey Arnold!

Netflix this year has added seasons of classic educational shows such as “Bill Nye the Science Guy” and “Reading Rainbow.” The streamer teamed up with DreamWorks Animation in 2013 to make original kids’ shows.

Not to be outdone, Amazon is looking to beef up its own crop of children’s programming. Its Amazon Studios arm ordered six new young-skewing pilots in May.

Financial details were not disclosed, but the new funding from HBO will let Sesame Workshop greatly increase its output. Sesame Street will go from 18 episodes a year to 35, and the nonprofit will produce a new spinoff series for HBO. An additional educational series will also be developed, the companies said.

The deal comes as a welcome relief for Sesame Workshop, which has come under financial pressure from declining DVD sales. The organization has historically funded its operations from product licensing revenue, which has been relatively stable, and its struggling DVD business.

The organization has previously received about 10 percent of its Sesame Street production financing from PBS, which will no longer have to put up that money.

“Over the past decade, both the way in which children are consuming video and the economics of the children’s television production business have changed dramatically,” said Sesame Street co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney, in a statement. “In order to fund our nonprofit mission with a sustainable business model, Sesame Workshop must recognize these changes and adapt to the times.”

HBO is also getting the rights to 150 old “Sesame Street” episodes that will be pulled from rival streaming services. Those episodes will continue to exist on PBS’ kids app and air as reruns on member stations.

Photo: “Sesame Street” characters Abby Cadabby, Grover, Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Bird Bird, via Facebook.

Endorse This: ‘We’re Mad Men!’

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The hit show Mad Men ended its legendary run Sunday night, but we still have the memories — and the parodies.

Click above to watch a truly brilliant take on the show from several years ago, brought to you by the wonderful folks at the Sesame Workshop — and maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about your feelings. Then share this video!

Video via Sesame Street.

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Endorse This: ‘Me Always Hungry’

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This weekend will see the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is expected to be one of the biggest movies of the year. But the wonderful people at Sesame Street are beating it to the punch — with some nice lessons about nutrition, too.

Click above to watch the infamous Cookie Monster team up with perhaps his most unlikely allies. Then share this video!

Video via Sesame Street.

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Endorse This: ‘Winter Is Coming’ — To Sesame Street

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The brilliant people at Sesame Street have done it again, combining education for the kids with laugh-out-loud entertainment — for both the kids and the grown-ups, too.

Watch this amazing take on the fantasy saga Game of Thrones, starring one of the true legends of goofball comedy — the blue and furry Muppet character Grover, that is — then share this video!

Video via Sesame Street.

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Late Night Roundup: Farewell To Jason Jones

The Daily Show gave a sendoff to the one and only Jason Jones, for his last appearance on the show, after 10 years of service as their foreign correspondent — with experiences ranging from talking to Indian voters about politics, to getting threatened by the retired Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Larry Wilmore looked at a variety of topics, ranging from young Americans joining ISIS to other Americans shooting up places right here at home.

Seth Meyers went over “This Week in Numbers” with a very special guest: Sesame Street’s own Count von Count!

Sesame Street Presents: ‘House of Bricks’

The brilliant folks at Sesame Street are getting in on the House of Cards craze, with a new special short: “House of Bricks,” featuring the diabolical scheming and soliloquies of Frank Underwolf on his quest for the White Brick House — the strongest of them all.

And just by subtracting step by step from the number three, “House of Bricks” has the accomplishment of making way more sense than anything from House of Cards itself.

Endorse This: Michelle Obama, Big Bird, And One Crazy Game Show

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Michelle Obama will do just about anything to promote healthy eating. In her latest caper, the First Lady appeared with comedian Billy Eichner for his “Billy on the Street” gonzo game show, alongside another very special celebrity contestant: Big Bird.

Click above to watch Michelle seek to lift up Americans’ eating habits — and maintain her own sanity — then share this video!

Video via Funny or Die.

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