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Sesame Street to Introduce HIV-Positive Muppet - Closed ?

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by Luke, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    I just wondered if we could get some clarification on why exactly the 'Sesame Street to Introduce HIV-Positive Muppet' thread has been closed ?

    I can understand totally the banning of 'Special Ed' (although i don't think he is the stranger you all think he is) for posting those stupid links just to incense people. It was obvious he was taking the softly softly approach to make controversial points and then just going for the big one when he felt he wasn't getting enough attention or making a big enough impact on a subject that obviously disturbs or affects him. I totally agree, and personally, would love to see the links he posted deleted as his post doesn't seem to have been.

    I honestly though don't see why the thread has to be spoiled for everyone else by stopping them from posting on the topic. This is a serious educational topic that is warranting discussion all over the world. Yes our thread had been taken off course by some but others were making great points and adding sensibly to a very valuable and fruitful discussion.

    One of the whole points of Sesame trying to approach this topic of HIV is not just so that they can include a character in a show, it's also so that they can get a reaction to what they are doing and raise both education and awareness in the public and media. By stopping people from posting about it and airing their views it's basically saying that people like 'Special Ed' have won, and taking all the good work that Sesame Workshop are doing and chucking it in the trashcan.

    I really don't think this is the right impression for us, as Henson fans to be giving to the rest of the world. I respect that it's the webmasters decision on how the site is managed, but if the forum is supposed to be representative of Henson fans then i don't think they should be censored on a topic they care about, and as a Henson fan i feel it's important to speak out.

    Also to Cory's (now second round of) comments on how Toughpigs is supposed to be the controversial forum - there is absolutely NOTHING that has been written anywhere that states that Muppet Central has to be warm and fuzzy, and that Toughpigs has to be controversial and cranky. We've had plenty of controversial threads here that have been debated sensibly such as 'Muppets and Christianity' a few years ago that touched on all kinds of things. Just because we mention homosexuals, aids, HIV and abortion doesn't mean that every thread has to be closed down and we be diverted back to the action figures (especially as VERY few people seem to have questions now until the next wave is released). As a longtime member, i hope Muppet Central can be about a little more than that, and i hope there will be other openings for us to talk about controversial issues that are directly associated with the Muppets/Henson.

    Overall the site has been pretty good about handling these things in the past, and seeing as it is about the Henson Company and related companies - when those companies directly put themselves in the spotlight on these issues i don't feel they particularly want the main audience to run away and bury their head in the sand !
  2. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Apologies in advance ! Glad to see that the right direction IS being taken !
  3. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member


    The thread was closed for about 15 minutes while I took care of a variety of things with his account. Then it was opened again. It's been open for about 30 minutes or so.

    The links he posted were also removed.
  4. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Looks like we were posting at the same time...
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    We thank you. It's bad enough he was so... so. But to post Nazi propaganda sites?!?!?! That's like trying to post ...(I haven't the guts to say the real word) "adult" sites on here! There are just some things you can't do, especially on this site.
  6. matleo

    matleo Active Member

    Hey Luke,

    Said this in the other thread but wanted to elaborate over hee where the post actually was, I like your post. There are some eloquently made points here (things you've said before but not as well) and a lot of stuff that hit the nail on the head. I actually found myself agreeing with you in places I haven't agreed with you in the past.

    If I could perhaps shed a little light on the cranky/toughpigs vs. warm and fuzzy/MC debate. I like to think MC as your LiteFM alternative. no, that's probably a bad analogy. I think we ARE a little softer when it comes down to some things, but that's not always a bad thing. Just sometimes. Equally, I think Danny kind of propagates himself a little too as being a bit more...I'll say edgier than we are over here, but you're right there's no reason why we we can't stand to speak our minds over here a bit more than we do. but at the same time we gotta be a careful how we do it...as we have just seen. Funny thing, when I was posting in the other thread I found myself posting thoughts to the person they weren't intended for. I said soem things to Joggy or BlueFrackle that were in with conversation I was having with them but specifically writing them so someone else could see. interestng. Anyway, again good post. I'm gonna go make S'Mores.

  7. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Hey Matt,

    Thanks a lot for the post and the support. I guess my post is kinda 'moot' now but there were some points that still stand and aimed at the Muppet fan community in general. I'm glad that this site (even after an incident like we had) is taking the lead, and the right direction in discussing this.

    The main thing i was trying to say was that this whole HIV thing is a big thing for us as Henson fans to approach. It's important that we are mature and debate it freely and sensibly because I think thats half the point of why Sesame Street has jumped into the 'fray' on this one. It's not just so we all think about the HIV problem in South Africa - it's also to raise awareness at home too and also point out that childrens characters like 'Muppets' can be used educationally in this way. As the 'CENTRAL' point for fans it's important we lead by example.

    Regarding Toughpigs and Muppet Central - yes there are the obvious differences and at times the sites do take different editorial styles. Personally i like both very much, and it is great to be able to see both sides of the coin, though in my view TP has moved away from being the hardcore adult muppet fan site and now more popular, is more like a 'Muppetzine' that isn't afraid to say what it thinks ....... not that Muppet Central isn't honest but it's a little more forgiving. Of course with Toughpigs there are the occasional swearwords and things can get a little cranky but thats the fun of it - it's all done very 'Tongue In Cheek' !!

    When it comes to things like this though, real controversial issues where Muppets are at the forefront, i personally feel able to discuss it (sensibly) here. MC is supposed to be 'CENTRAL' (ie :- the base point for fans on the internet) and as such has the responsibilty of tackling the issues and stories that are affecting us ALL as Henson fans. Sure i don't mind the jokes and the merchandise talk (we are all here for FUN first and foremost) but when it comes to things like this where the general public are being presented with the idea of 'HIV Muppets In Sesame Street' then we as THE central fan group have a lot to say and i'm glad that on the occasions here at MC where these kind of topics (including sexuality, death, abortion, religion etc) have come up that we've all handled it pretty well over the years.

    I'm actually proud that we (meaning both the Henson/Sesame Companies AND the fans, be they from Muppet Central or Toughpigs) can handle these kind of topics and the characters can be used to raise awareness and make a difference ..... Pokemon can't do that !!!!!!

    *Tosses Penguin*
  8. dirtygulch

    dirtygulch New Member

    he posted those sites to show that there are worst people than him oiut there
  9. FellowWLover

    FellowWLover Member

    Well, well, well... someone better pay up around here. It seems that I have won the bet as to how long it would take before that thread was closed (even if it was just for fifteen minutes or whatever it was). I guess that was what is known in the world of gambling as a "sure thing". LOL

    I really can't discern exactly what happened today, but I do have a couple of comments. First, as for Cory, I think it is clear that he was just trying to stir things up and draw attention to the fact that there was a controversial thread on a "family site".

    Second, Luke, who do you think Special_Ed is? I would be curious to find out the origin of this guy. He can't be that same dude from the Muppets & Chrisianity thread (different writing style). Do you have any ideas?
  10. Luke

    Luke Active Member


    Regarding the bet ..... i'll have to consult the 'Muppet Book Of Gambling Rules' but that would be a shady win if ever money had been agreed. Of course i'm still up for the multiple scenario bet where if the new Henson Pictures film flops, Henson gets sold to Disney, and there's a Pepe action figure by 2004 you take off all your clothes and learn to play the Banjo ! ;)

    Second, Special Ed knew what he was doing posting those links and knew exactly the reaction it would get. Whether he posted them to make a point or not he knew full well thats not the kind of thing that is anywhere near acceptable here and there are plenty of other ways to make the point he was making.

    I'm not sure who he is but he seemed to know us all well enough and i'd be very suprised if it was just a lurker who decided to post. As with 'Muppets and Christianity' i'm pretty sure it's people with cultivated 'Warm & Fuzzy' images around here who just create a new identity when they know they are likely to get flamed for an opinion. I can't put my finger on who he is (i agree not the abortion guy from the other thread) but actually, the writing style looked 'put on' and there was something familiar about it. The Muppets do have heavy followings in both gay and religious circles so someone having strong views doesn't suprise me.

    Cory, well, Cory's Cory (if that makes sense) but i think it was actually a little insulting to both the people contributing and also the site itself. If he didn't actually have a point to make, i think the Toughpigs mentions were just a little silly and didn't tell people anything they didn't already know.
  11. FellowWLover

    FellowWLover Member

    LOL... just had to laugh at the other guy being referred to as "the abortion guy"... bet that is a nickname he never counted on!
  12. Baby Rowlf

    Baby Rowlf Member

    So...what's this new character like? What's going to happen? Kids are going to want to know how to get it..and that means they're going to have to go into more adult things. Besides, how did the character get it?

    this is getting scary.
  13. MuppetQuilter

    MuppetQuilter Member

    Baby Rowlf--

    In South Africa, where the HIV+ Muppet will air, at least 1 in 9 people is HIV+. The AIDS epidemic is incredibly prolific and, according to recent scientific studies, it is expected to get worse before it reaches its 'saturation point.' There are a lot of misconceptions and prejudice surrounding HIV and AIDS in South Africa.

    The HIV+ Muppet on the South Africa's Sesame Street is intended to teach understanding and tolerance. In all liklihood the Muppet will have been born with HIV. Most HIV+ children contract it from their mother. They can also get it from nursing. There are drugs to reduce the risk of an HIV+ mother passing HIV to her unborn child (and c-section deliveries also help) but they are not as readily available in Africa as they are in the US. Given that the Muppet in question will, I believe, be a child STDs and how they are contracted will not be an issue. Preschoolers don't know about that stuff and thus don't ask.

    You're right it is scary. It's also a very sad that so many children are suffering not only from a horrible disease but also from the ignorance of others.
  14. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    well, i avoided the whole sesame forum for awhile, which is a darn shame. sesame of all forums??? man. but from the likes of it, it sounds like

    ok, so i read my name...

    >>>I really can't discern exactly what happened today, but I do have a couple of comments. First, as for Cory, I think it is clear that he was just trying to stir things up and draw attention to the fact that there was a controversial thread on a "family site". <<<

    stir things up? listen...i would expect that kind of ed discussion stuff on the old mc...but on here? let me say this. all i said was 'and i thought toughpigs was the only audlt forum'. i said this because its a darn shame that kind of emotion and ugly stuff gets stirred up in of all places, this one. was there really a 'muppets and christianity' thread? i dont even wanna know what was in that thread. anyways, it clear this guy crossed the line (his latter posts are gone, but i can imagine what they had) unfortunately this type of ignorance abounds. Perhaps the word right wing extremist comes to mind? fromt he way he replied, his acumen on things is quite askewed...he probably isnt aware we here at mc are a tough tight knit group. there are a lot of people of various preferences, religions, etc on here...and notice he couldnt get one to agree with him.

    as for me stirring up something? how is bringing to attention the fact that its sad when things come down to that kind of 'dialogue' on a place like this stirring things up?
  15. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    >>>The Muppets do have heavy followings in both gay and religious circles so someone having strong views doesn't suprise me<<<

    thats what was so puzzling, anybody who has a clue knows
    that gay people have and will always be heavily involved with the muppets, along with people who believe in all sorts of religions
    (tho ed said 'people who belive in lies') yet he was on this infalable high horse. sheesh. personally it was the muppets and religion chats in the old mc that disgusted me...do i beleive certain subjects dont belong on here? i think more fairly, i feel more comfortable if theres a seperation.

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