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Disgusting Muppet illustration - Make your thoughts known

Discussion in 'On the Web' started by Jennifer Beth, Jul 18, 2002.

  1. Jennifer Beth

    Jennifer Beth New Member

    I periodically monitor websites dedicated to what might be called the "agenda" of the right wing, for reasons I won't get into here, and I found something that disgusted me as a Sesame Street fan (among other things) and I think many of you might be interested.

    Regarding the announcement of an HIV positive muppet on the South African version of Sesame Street, an organization called Concerned Women for America has an awful illustration on their website of a hijacked Sesame Street street sign, proclaiming "Sexual Street," hanging over drawings of muppets the "artist" has named "Sado, Pervie, and Mr. Lady." The drawing is in very poor taste and I'd hope it violates some copyright laws, so that the Sesame Workshop people can take action. The website has the gall to ask if viewers like the cartoon and posts a link to send an email to the artist. I encourage all Muppet Central members to let these people know that education about HIV this is not humorous and the "art" is not at all funny. The site is www.cwfa.org

  2. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member


    Thanks for the news. There are several people active on this forum who work for Sesame Workshop that will no doubt see this.
  3. grail

    grail Well-Known Member

    and if they don't see it here, they'll see it somewhere...i just made sure of that...

    it's good to have friends...
  4. ResidentLilly

    ResidentLilly Well-Known Member

    Besides...HIV is not necessarily about sex or sexual deviance...you know I realize we don't get into real issues on this board much, but I just want to say how much I detest right wing conservatism. It is such a blatantly misguided and utterly single minded of a group of people. America should be about tolerance and understanding, the embrace of new ideas and new ways of thinking. Heck...America was STARTED because a bunch of yahoos wanted to be able to think and make decisions based on their notion they had the freedom to choose their own way of life...sad that so many "Americans" forget that.

    Anyway...it just stinks because you have an opportunity to teach kids about the black plague of the modern era and you'll have so called "enlightened" folk who try to block it at every turn because they are too uneducated to realize that to be HIV doesn't mean you're a sexual deviant or something.

    OK...soapbox stepped off of...
  5. grail

    grail Well-Known Member

    very well said
  6. Jennifer Beth

    Jennifer Beth New Member

    Residentlilly, I agree with you completely! I look at right-wing sites just to know what the crazies are up to, and the amount of fear and bigotry out there never ceases to amaze me. It's sad that there are people out there content to revel in their ignorance rather than open themselves up to actually LEARNING something. What are they afraid of? The world is a lot less scary when you actually understand reasons and causes for things...I could go on for pages. These people can attack books, music, movies, whatever...but to attack Sesame Street and the muppets just irks me more than anything. I'm all for parody. I even thought the Bert is Evil photoshop sites were amusing, but this is not parody. It's just nasty.
  7. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Well-Known Member

    I can't stand these people. Why are they complaining about AIDS being taught about in SOUTH AFRICA? Do they believe that Sesame Street has to always be harmless, sanitized, safe-for-all-kids education, in every single country? That's the kind of thinking that led to the ruination of the American SS...

    I bet these right-wing conservatives didn't want SS teaching about death either. If they had their way, the SS cast probably would have told Big Bird, "Oh, Mr. Hooper moved away..."
  8. Ernie101

    Ernie101 Well-Known Member

    very insulting and distasteful
  9. Stulz

    Stulz Well-Known Member

    "wrong" wing 'toons

    I just LOVE the way the ask that if you like the cartoon to click the link...
    Notice there's no link if you DON"T like it...

    Very interesting don't ya think?

    Here's for more controversail issues being address on SS in the future!

    (maybe even here in the US)
  10. UncleDeadly

    UncleDeadly Well-Known Member

    I like how the other day on some show on FoxNews Network (with an uber right wing host, cant remember his name), he was reading letters, as he always does (I only ever catch this portion of his show). As he read letters concerning what must have been his recent reporting of the HIV+ character, they showed a Muppets Tonight era picture of Muppets in the corner.

    To show how 'fair' he was, he showed letters both supporting him and slamming him. Of course he slammed right back. "Kids that age (2-5) don't understand things like age! We shouldn't force the worlds problems on them. Let them be kids!"

    While I agree with that concept (kids be kids), come on America! This is another countries current situation we are dealing with! And also, kids understand way more than we give them credit! LONG before a child can speak, he fully understands language, he just doesnt have the motor capacity to respond.

    And as they arent saying how the character got the disease, and that she is 5!!! I highly doubt she conctracted it through unsafe relations of recreational drug use.
  11. Thog

    Thog Well-Known Member

  12. mango

    mango Member

    Regarding the Concerned Women of America site (www.cwfa.org), - as much as I may think their viewpoint and satirical cartoon may be in poor taste or wrong, they do have the right to say what they feel.

    Speaking of FOX NEWS... I was watching the Kermit interview last week (yes, I do get it on cable over here in Australia), where one of the 'plank-of-wood' reporters were interviewing Kermit about the NASCAR race sponsorship events, and the reporter, out of nowhere, sprang the HIV+ muppet line of questioning on Kermit (which was the first instance I had heard about it).

    It took Kermit by surprise and he did his face change thing - from a smile to a glum look but I think Kermit should've done that screwed-up face *wince* look the way this reporter was carrying on about it.

    You could tell the reporter was 'gearing his material' to the religious right viewers that frequent FOX NEWS.

    Personally I think kids should be introduced to all kinds of different people, characters & muppets so there's less chance of them growing up to be jaded, warped, prejudiced and hate-filled beings like many, many adults in the world.


  13. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    I totally agree Mango - it's satire pure and simple. It's a free country and people are entitled to air their opinions however they like. It may not be particularly 'nice' but then they didn't make you view the website.

    It's probably not against copyright - for one the characters aren't close enough to sesame ones, and secondly, there are certain laws in the USA that make exceptions for Parody.

    I'm sure that Sesame were prepared for this backlash and knew full well what they were getting into before they went anywhere near this subject.
  14. Jennifer Beth

    Jennifer Beth New Member

    I'm all for hearing multiple viewpoints, and while I would argue till I drop about free speech and everyone being entitled to an opinion, I still don't think the cartoon falls under the category of satire. In my mind, satire is generally done with respect and with a general feeling of fun. Someone else posted a link to The Onion. I'd say that was satire. I'd say the Bert is Evil pictures that were circulating on websites last year were satirical. This is just mean. It is intended to perpetuate ignorance, something Sesame Street has always worked against.

    Someone posted that the Sesame Workshop people were probably prepared for a backlash. I hope so. It seems no one can do anything these days without someone getting upset. It's sad that in a society as "advanced" as ours, people still cling to outdated puritanical philosophies. I brought up the topic at lunch today with some ladies I work with, and one of them immediately said that she just hopes "they" don't try to "promote the homosexual lifestyle on the show." I tried to explain that educating children in an area with extrordinary rates of HIV infection has nothing to do with homosexualty, but she tuned me out.
  15. grail

    grail Well-Known Member

    well, i got the site address sent off to someone i know who is a PA on Sesame Street (how cool is she?!), and she said she forwarded it on to the legal department. she wasn't optimistic about getting anything done because it probably does fit under that umbrella of "satire" but here's to hoping. she didn't say much else, but apparantly they have known for several months that this character was going to happen, so i'm sure they're all prepared for the worst...

    the real shame is that's probably exactly what they're going to get...
  16. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    "Sesame" is a cultural icon - it's as ripe for spoofing as "Star Wars" but as we've all said, the upset people ARE IN THE WRONG COUNTRY! That aside, it's not even a very well done editorial cartoon.

    Free speech is such a bad thing in the wrong hands (sigh).
  17. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Sesame would never do something about this - they would just get more trouble with the press for trying to censor a womens group. It would be a bad move for them because it would stir things up again.
  18. Ernie101

    Ernie101 Well-Known Member

    is that muppet roger really comin? they said that lady announced it
  19. radionate

    radionate Well-Known Member

    The "newspaper" that article and picture about "Roger" came from is a parody paper. I'm a big fan of the Onion at times. Very funny stuff sometimes (and somethme not, just like most comedy). Anyway, tongue in cheek stuff like the Onion is tolerable (I thought Bert is Evil was also very funny), but this political cartoon, as stated multiple times already in this thread is just tacky and more propaganda.

    Thanks Smig for the link to the Onion, I had never caught that story. Do you think he's a releative of Zoe? (There's always one in every family you know) ;)
  20. Ernie101

    Ernie101 Well-Known Member

    Well i dont find it very amusing at all.

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