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Sesame Street to Introduce HIV-Positive Muppet

Discussion in 'Sesame Worlds' started by Phillip, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. trekkie1701E

    trekkie1701E Well-Known Member

    Oh, alright. I didn't think "Anti-disabled-muppet-people" was offending. Glad you didn't, either!

  2. radionate

    radionate Well-Known Member

    I don't even know if I should dignify this ludicrious post with a response. But I think its hypocritical to replace one agenda for another, as it seems to me you have your own agenda. Step back a minute and think about what you posted above, think about, and tell me if you don't see how absoultly insane it sounds. Sexual Offenders? Come on. Perhapes you would have learned a valuable lesson as a child if you had watched S.S. What lesson might that be? Love thy fellow man.
  3. Special_Ed

    Special_Ed Guest

    Mister Frog boy,

    Who did I call a name? I only addressed the the Muppet Quilter by their ID so you would know to whom my post was addressing.

    For Mister Trekkie.

    The difference betwen a musculer disease and HIV is that HIV is a sexually transmitted disease. and MSD is not. Why do you assume that people who are anti gay are "afraid" of something? We are not afraid of anything. When something is morally wrong and we state that it is some people seem to think that it's out of fear. It's not, it's out of the simple knowledge of what is right and wrong.

    For BlueFrackle and Radiationate,

    I have no agenda. I am a writer and creator of family entertainment and I assure you there is no "hidden agenda" in anything that I produce. I refuse to incorporate things like that into my own work and it's sad when others seem to feel the need to.

    Sesame Street is a very popular children/family program and therefore makes a juicy spring board to unleash hidden agendas to brainwash children into accepting corrupt and morally wrong information.

    You read me right, sexual offenders. Why shouldn't we accept their lifestyle if we are to accept all life styles? Use your own logic and see what my point is.

    I did watch Sesame Street as a child, and no I did not think that Bert & Ernie were gay. It's obvious that they are friends!

    I do love thy fellow man, but I do not approve of some of the things that they do. Does that make be bad? Well if it does in your eyes then so be it. Are you going to love me anyway? Hmm...very doubtful.
  4. Janice & Mokey's Man

    Janice & Mokey's Man Well-Known Member

    You seem to be anti-gay here, but HIV isn't "a gay thing"---that was just one of the first groups it showed up in. It affects people from all walks of life, and is sad and terrible. And homosexuality isn't even an issue with the SS tie-in to South Africa, from what I've skimmed over so far.

    And since when is it "corrupt and morally wrong" for people to have this thing called compassion? I love God, love my church, but we don't bash gay people. Do you think Jesus would have done that? No. Jesus was about love and compassion. I and others believe that Jesus would have embraced gay people, since they are condemned by some others. That's what Jesus did, He welcomed all to His arms, and frequently spent time with those whom "normal" people despised, condemned, and practiced prejudice against. We need to teach our children to love, not hate. Otherwise, the behavior is the opposite of Christian love.

    And only ignorance causes people to place gays in the same groups as murderers and child molestors. The very terms "murderer" and "child molestor" indicate conscious decisions to hurt others, and frequently. A gay person just happens to be attracted to their own gender---waaaaaaay different ballpark; you couldn't be in further directions here. Besides, being gay isn't a choice. In fact, I doubt most people would choose that lifestyle. Therefore, compassion is needed if we wanna make the world more peaceful and stop the madness that happens.
  5. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Actually, i do to an extent agree with Special Ed, and i also notice that some people are getting very jumpy here that things might not be going along so politically correctly here.

    While i don't particularly agree with the use of 'sex offenders' or 'gay people' as examples i do get the point behind it that was being made. I actually agree that we shouldn't be thrusting these 'agendas' down Kids throats, especially as most of them will be too young to really get the points. They never did this kinda thing when i was young, we watched happy educational TV shows hearing stories and learning to spell - why on Earth at that age should it be upto a TV show to teach a kid the ways of the world, or about sexually transmitted things, or about sex education. Years ago, this was something parents decided to tackle with their kids and i expect most used their judgement to do a pretty good job. Why should parents get off easy and let some TV show take over their responsibilities ? I turned out fine (ok, maybe thats questionable) and my parents taught me this kinda thing, and anything more than that at school was done at an age where i could understand things properly.

    I have to say, knowing the TV industry VERY well, i don't think the productions companies who introduce these kinda things are really doing this just for the kids education. I think to a point it is just part of the 'points scoring' that goes on between politicians, TV channels and new age educational people. It looks so good on them and they get good publicity when they do something 'groundbreaking' and are seen to be of a higher educational standard than their rivals. Sesame Street's popularity has been flagging all over the world for a long time now and it seems to me that this could be the work of liberal new-age style producers who just want to be known as the person in the industry who was 'the one who wrote the HIV Muppet into Sesame Street'.

    It does trouble me that it seems certain very liberal members of the group seem to feel that there is something 'wrong' with any parent who objected to their child being subjected to this storyline. It goes further that in some places they seem to suggest that it shouldn't be upto parents and should just be included in the show without any indication and people just have to live with it. I really don't think it should be the case that parents opinions are cut out of this just because you personally want to see this introduced to Sesame Street.
  6. EmmyMik

    EmmyMik Well-Known Member

    While I think that it's great that this character will be introduced in South America, I think that it's terrible that it has come to this. It's hard to imagine that millions of innocent people have lost, and will lose their lives to this disease. Hopefully this character will be able to inspire those children who have HIV/AIDS, and possibly teach acceptance to those who do not.

    As for having a character who is HIV positive in the US version, I don't know. I would have no problem if this were to happen, but it might be too ambitious. I remember when I was younger there were a lot of diseases that scared me. Things like asthma, diabetes, and HIV (I remember when Magic Johnson announced that he was HIV positive). They scared me because I had no idea what they were, and if/how I could catch them. I could see Sesame Street introducing a character that has something like asthma, diabetes, HIV, or something else, and that character can show "I have this disease, I won't get better, but see what I can do?"

    But that's just my two cents...
  7. Special_Ed

    Special_Ed Guest

    Janice & Monkey man,

    I never said I hate gay people, I said what they did was morally wrong. You love people and hate the sin. Your arguement that Jesus socialized with sinners is very true, but it was not because He embraced their sins as being just choices, He mingled with them in order to bring them to salvation.

    Being gay is a choice and not a birth defect. Your arguement about "why would anyone choose that lifestyle" is very week. We can apply this arguement to many other groups, why would any group chose to rebel against their Government and be called traitors and face a death penalty? Yet that has happened at least twice in American History alone. Why would anyone embrace religious views that would condemn them to death by the majority, yet we see this happen throughout the world on a daily basis. Claiming that no one would chose a lifestyle for what they believe in is ludicrous.


    Very good points. I will further your comments by saying that I feel that a lot of the problems we currently have in this country, such as the HIV explosion, is because of these media outlets and educators cramming sexual education down the throats of children at younger and younger ages. Soon after this happened there was an explosion in children engaging in sexual activity. Liberals may laugh, but it's true. We've never had such wide spread open sexual activity among young people in history.

    I don't see why some groups feel the need to take things out of the parents' hands and try to tackle it themself. I think they know very well that this kind of education causes young people to experiment because there have been numerous cases that went to court where Public School districts would not allow parents or even a church of the parents' chosing teach this stuff to the children as an alternative to public schools.

    Also, a few months ago, to deal with the recent rash of school shootings, a New York City Rabbi proposed a campaign for Public Schools to teach gun education to students. The liberals and school officals complained that this would cause more children to use guns. Why is it any different than sex education?
  8. Janice & Mokey's Man

    Janice & Mokey's Man Well-Known Member

    I see what you're saying, but unfortunately, your ignorance seems too big for you to get around. Being gay is clearly NOT a choice. None whatsoever. Your argument is coming off as weak, because whether you are gay, straight, or bisexual depends on your hormones, not your mental strategies.

    Have you never seen or heard of gay people struggling with themselves and in tears over their lifestyle, because they are opressed by their friends or family? And for what---something that is not under their control at all. You can't control what your hormones attract you to, and I believe most gay people would give anything to not be gay, and not be opressed by society.

    That is what is ludicrous. Being gay is not "something to believe in", it's a fact of life, and always has been among some people. When you hear someone break down and confide in you what a torture is to feel those feelings, then maybe you'll understand that there is indeed no such thing as "choice". Overthrowing a government, yes. Sexuality, no.
  9. MuppetQuilter

    MuppetQuilter Well-Known Member

    Muppet Central is a diverse community made up of people from a wide variety of backgrounds and who embrace a variety of lifestyles. There is room here for everyone, so long as we all respect one another and one another's choices.

    Disagreements are inevitable. Debate is at the heart of the MC Forum. As a community, it is imperative that we chose our words carefully and remember that our beliefs may not be the beliefs of others.

    Trekkie-- thanks for joining the discussion and sharing your experiences. Sesame Street has long made a habit of including children and adults with disablities and it is one of the things I love about the show.
  10. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Hey Byron,

    I'm not so sure that i would agree that all gay people have not chosen that way of life - not that i'm saying there aren't plenty in the position you describe who have just found themselves having discovered those 'feelings' but i'm sure there are others who may have been influenced by the people in the social groups around them to make this choice, or even there are many cases of straight males going to prison and leaving as homosexuals after either mixing with gay males for the first time or even in much serious cases being raped. Saying most gay people would prefer not to be gay may be a little strong too - i'm sure there are a large percentage who are very proud to be gay but again, i get your point.
  11. Janice & Mokey's Man

    Janice & Mokey's Man Well-Known Member

    I see what you're sayin', Luke...it's just that I've heard many say they would definitely not to choose to be that way. I know there's gay pride things and stuff, and that largely stems from opression of society. But I see what you're sayin', too. :)
  12. FellowWLover

    FellowWLover Well-Known Member


    At the risk of bringing on the wrath... I most certainly believe that there are three categories (maybe more, but at least these three) of "gay" folks...

    One that consists of people that are born, genetically or whatever, GAY... these people certainly do not choose to be homosexual; they may or may not be proud and may or may not embrace the lifestyle, but they did not choose it. They simply are gay by right of birth.

    The second group, IMO, either through choice or circumstance "become" gay due to life events, whatever they may be (I hear your prison example, but think that might be a little far-fetched). I am thinking of women with nothing but abusive relationships with men (from father to suitor), or men with twisted maternal relationships... not just these examples, but a variety and volume of experiences which lead a person to "become" homosexual.

    The third group would be those who dabble in homosexuality for whatever reason. I think these people are choosing to be gay to satisfy curiosity or fashion. Some of these folks may be gay for spite, as an act of defiance, or for pure shock value.

    Before anyone over-reacts, let me say that, yes, I do have extensive experience with the gay community, and no, I do not believe any of the three aformentioned categories of gay people should be discriminated against.
  13. trekkie1701E

    trekkie1701E Well-Known Member

    Special_Ed said:
    <I refuse to incorporate things like that into my own work and it's sad when others seem to feel the need to>

    Why does educating children about a disease constitute "sad"? Yes, HIV is an STD. But, Sesame Street won't portray it that way. All the show will do is teach viewers that HIV is a sickness, but not one that people should be afraid of. It will teach kids to respect and embrace their fellow peers, instead of shunning/neglecting them.

    As for gay people, I am a huge fan of Rosie O'Donnell. She is, and always has been, a very loving person. In addition to founding the FOR ALL KIDS FOUNDATION, which has raised millions of $$ through ebay, she donated the majority of proceeds from her show to charity. She has also attended tons of fundraisers. And she is always willing to sign autographs.
    And She "is" a christian.

    So ... I don't believe that Rosie O'Donnell is guilty of anything. She is very charitable, extremely gifted and she loves all children. However, despite all this, some people believe that Rosie being gay is cause enough for her to forever be a sinner. I don't believe this. Some people do. It's fine! You either believe it's wrong or you don't. Just like Christianity itself.

  14. trekkie1701E

    trekkie1701E Well-Known Member

    One more thing I forgot to mention; Remember when Mr. Hooper died? Sesame Street writers & producers went to child psychiatrists for help on what to do. Two things that should not happen; Don't say that Hooper died in the hospital and don't say that he went away on a long trip. It was finally decided that Sesame Street would just be straight-forward and totally honest about Mr. Hooper's death.
    I have a feeling that they'll be just as honest about HIV (W/out the muppet saying, "HIV is caused by having sex. Sex happens when..." :) )

  15. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member


    Calling gay people "sicko" is certainly name-calling in my book and relating them to murderers and child molesters is not only extreme, it is hurtful. It is not necessary to do that in order to get your point across.

    It is also important to note that when posting you are stating your opinion and not a moral absolute. They are your adopted beliefs - your lifestyle choice no matter how absolute you feel they happen to be.

    I feel the reason that so many people want to drum spirituality out of public functions is because of radical religious folk who try to impose their beliefs others. I actually think the elimination of spirituality is a horrible trend happening in this country. Can't we all get along no matter what our background differences and cut out the condemnation-speech?

    There really is no agenda here. Just teaching kids tolerance - not sex or homosexuality. HIV in children is mainly contracted from the parent. I am sure there are no plans to introduce a gay Muppet and no sexuality to be discussed with the new South African one. Much of this talk really seems moot to me.

    To All

    I think that Jessica is kind of right although the majority of gay people I know have the same story of "always knowing it". I don't see why this has become a gay discussion. This is about a female Muppet in South Africa who is going to teach children tolerance while representing the 1 in 9 infected with HIV over there.

    Muppet or Man

    I actually think that if a US character is introduced it should be a real kid who is moderately healthy and coping with the disease. This would certainly go over better than a Muppet in my opinion. I also wouldn't mind in the future if children with other diseases appeared on the program and informed kids.

    Geez - I’d rather talk about action figures now!
  16. MuppetQuilter

    MuppetQuilter Well-Known Member

    Well said, Jamie!

    It's funny, this all got started over a miss quote in the original announcement of an HIV+ Muppet on Sesame in South Africa. The media has gone a little nuts with it. Poor Steve Whitmire was probably blindsided by the reporter who talked to him-- after all, what connection does Steve have with a show produced on the other side of the world? We're still debating the pros and cons of all this in terms of the American Sesame Street, when it has been clearly stated there are no plans to introduce an HIV+ anything.

    But I'm almost caught up on the Ask Ken thread, how about we talk about something else for just a little longer so I have a chance to get completely caught up on the action figures? Anyone want to join me at the MuppetFest 2003 discussion?
  17. Special_Ed

    Special_Ed Guest

    Janice & Monkey man,

    Being gay is a choice. It is learned behavior, it is a sexual fetish and nothing more. There are also numerous examples of people who have swung back, and if it a birth deffect, as you so claim, why is it so wide spread now and not so much so a few generations ago. You also mentioned that these people struggled with their lifestyle, but so do child molstors. They know it's wrong and try to stay on the right path, but sometimes they still give into the urge to do the wrong thing. Would you claim that they are born that way as well? Get real.


    "Yes, HIV is an STD. But, Sesame Street won't portray it that way. "

    I had to post youir quote here, what is the point of talking about it if you're not going to discuss it thuroghly? That's why I saw leave it alone all together.

    Your Rosie O'Donnell arguement is weak. Just because someone does many good things it does not eliminate a wrong deed. Take the reverse side of the coin, if someone does many evil deeds and one good deed does that mean they are now a good person? She obviously can not be a very good Christian if she isn't living the teachings of the Bible, the book at the center of that religion. I know all about this Rosie O'Donnell arguement because my aunt is gay, a huge Rosie fan, and a similar person. It doesn't work.

    I remember watching when Mr. Hooper died. How is this like HIV or a gay muppet? Death is a more important part of life because we all must die someday, and many children have family members who die when they are young. Knowing what they died of is not important.


    Everything I say is a moral absolute. THis garbage about "Situational ethics" is insane and another reason why people have no idea what is right or wrong anymore. They get this Situational ethics stuff crammed down their throats and they can't decide on anything anymore.

    Try reading the writings of the founding fathers and see what they thought about spirituality. THis stuff about "a seperation between Church and State" is a total myth and out right lie. Go and read what these men REALLY wrote and you'll see how greatly misquoted they are today. There are so many cases of things they've said being represented in misleading ways by the media that it's unreal.

    You can teach tolerence, but you don't have specifically target every type of tolerence. Tolerence is tolerence, whay more do you need to discuss with children?

    We got on the gay discussion when The Muppet Quilter said to bring on a gay muppet.
  18. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member


    All this is your opinion stated as fact. Stating that everything you have said is a moral absolute is virtually claiming that you are God himself and would be laughable if there weren't so much venom in your statements. Calling being gay a fetish or birth defect is insulting and continuing to relate them to child molesters is unacceptable. I have made the appropriate grievances and will post to you no further. I really hope to never hear from you on the board but also know that will not erase the hatred, ignorance and condescension in your heart. I will not read or reply to future posts. You obviously have no respect for you common man. Not very Christ-like in my eyes.
  19. Janice & Mokey's Man

    Janice & Mokey's Man Well-Known Member

    I am real. I am in touch with the world and people. You are assuming too much, thinking that being gay is a complete choice. If that were so, some gay people would not be torn over it---I already mentioned that above, including how hormones are uncontrollabe (just sounds like you forgot what I wrote or didn't bother to read). You like what you like.

    And yes I've heard of people who have swung back, and I believe that is possible for those people who did experience their sexuality as a learned behavior, or the only environment they knew.

    Also, please do not misquote me. I didn't say being gay is a birth defect, you said that. That is just an insult to that community. It is a sexual orientation for most, not any sort of defect or preference.

    You obviously don't know a great deal about sexuality in general if you believe that homosexuality is a "fetish". A fetish is having to include a specific body part or an inanimate object in foreplay or intercourse. That has nothing to do with homosexuality.

    And since when are all child molestors conscientious people who feel bad about what they do? Not the ones I've seen on the news...you just keep missing points by bigger and bigger ballparks...
  20. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Hey Guys,

    Why am i getting this sudden vibe that everyone wants to run away and talk about something else when things get a little controversial ?

    Like it or not, Special Ed isn't alone - there are plenty of people in this world who share the same kind of opinions and not saying they are right, but he does have some very valid (albeit very right wing) opinions. With regards to the 'gay' thing there are certainly many Christian and other religious groups around who feel that being gay is 'dirty' or that the person has been 'bad' in their life to bring that on them. I'm not saying these groups are in the majority, or that they're right but they are certainly out there and spreading their views in a free country.

    Lets not forget it was Muppetquilter who asked why they shouldn't introduce a gay Muppet and she has a point. While i'm not relating disease to gay people, or saying that they are anything like the same kind of thing - they are both controversial topics for a childrens show to consider introducing, and thus both very valid for discussion here. You can bet your bottom dollar that both 'homosexuality' and 'HIV' share a place on producers lists of ideas for kids shows around the country..... even if they don't make it to air.

    I do agree that Special Ed is sailing a little close to the wind in some places but i also don't see the need to pack up and move out of the thread. If you don't agree with whats being said, this is your chance to air your views and stick up for your beliefs - it's good to see most people doing that and for once we are getting our teeth into a meaty topic that is now being discussed in the mainstream media too.

    Personally i think we need to move beyond JUST action figures, and Muppetfest Spring 2003 is definitely not a 'given'. They no more have that planned than Muppetfest Autumn 2002 - it's way too early and really depends on what happens within the company. It was a little misleading to make some kind of 'event announcement' although i know it was with good intentions. They HOPE to hold an event sometime early'ish next year, and i hope that i get to shower with Britney Spears - but if Disney buys my butt, that won't be happening either !

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