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Muppets Perverted says US conservative group

2363x3150Kermit condemned for being undressed

This is not satire, Luvs.  In fact, I really wish it were satire, but nonetheless it has had me in tears and pissing myself laughing.

The US conservative Christian group, One Million Moms, infamous for their homophobia and taking on Ellen DeGeneres and Modern Family, now have a new target in their sights; The Muppets.

The new ABC show, which is an adult-targeted spin-off of the 1970s shows Sesame Street and The Muppet Show has come under attack from 1MM – because Kermit the Frog doesn’t wear any pants.  I kid you not, you read that correctly.  1MM are claiming the new show, which is actually aimed at adults on a nostalgia kick, rather than kids, is immoral and perverted.

“1MM (One Million Moms) suspects there are going to be a lot of shocked moms and dads when they discover that the family-friendly Muppets of the 1970s are no more. It appears that no subject is off limits,” state the group in a petition calling for TV network ABC to cancel the show, “Kermit doesn’t wear pants.  The puppet characters loved by kids in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond are now weighing in on abortion and promiscuity.  Many parents unknowingly will let their children watch an episode only to find out its perverted nature too late, unless they are alerted ahead of time. 1MM and others need to get the word out to families to avoid this program at all costs.

Okay, to use a wide old Scots saying, haud the bus.  Firstly, Kermit has NEVER worn pants.  Not in Sesame Street, not in The Muppet Show, not ever.  If they’ve only just noticed that now, then given that two generations have now grown up loving Kermit and the rest of the Muppets (I adored Gonzo), they’re more than a tad bloody late.

Secondly, the ABC show is not aimed at children at all.  It is aimed at an adult audience who are nostalgic for the Muppets.  Storylines are to include Kermit’s break-up with Miss Piggy and Fozzie having a relationship with a woman.

ABC have made it perfectly clear that the new show is aimed at adults, by airing an ad for it with Kermit stating “Finally, a network TV show with full frontal nudity.”, which is no doubt what got 1MM’s backs up in the first place.  It is then up to parents to prevent children from watching the new show, not down to 1MM or any other moralists to seek to ban it and prevent others from watching it.

But then, it is nothing new.  The Muppet Show of the late 1970s was not aimed purely at children either.  It was a spin-off of Sesame Street, meant for adults and children alike, and actually contained a good deal of innuendo from characters and many guests alike, as well as some risque comments among the heckling from Statler and Waldorf.

Where's his pants?

Where’s HIS pants?

No doubt 1MM would like a return to wholesome American values of the past, when there were children’s characters like, ermm, Donald Duck – who went about in a jacket, a sailor’s had and guess what?  NO PANTS.  Same with Winnie the Pooh.  Would 1MM then ban anything by A A Milne?  Know what?  I honestly reckon they would.

That’s before we even get onto America’s favourite drag queen, Bugs Bunny, who very often appeared dressed as a woman, and even flirted with Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam in a number of cartoons.

BugsBunny_adpAnd just what did the vast majority of these cartoons show children?  Characters beating up and bombing each other, thereby teaching children that problems can be solved by violence.  Strangely enough, I do not hear 1MM complaining about that.  Of course not; violence in children’s shows has nothing to do with the conservative Christian obsession with the human body and sex, both of which they see as dirty and sinful.

Puppet shows have contained adult references since the art form began.  And they and cartoons are but extensions of many children’s stories and nursery rhymes which have very adult undertones and origins.  Just what do you imagine Jack and Jill were doing up that hill?  And of course, there is NOTHING at all suggestive about Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf – or her being rescued by the axeman with his huge chopper, is there?

And children’s shows have always and always shall contain moments of adult humour, thrown in for mum and dad to get a harmless giggle at.  Very few kids will even understand these references, and will wonder what their parents are suddenly splurting their tea and laughing at.  Such as this classic moment from Warner Bros cartoon Animaniacs, which is a particular favourite of mine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xmAC9Qu908

For 1MM to single out an adult nostalgia version of the Muppets is therefore not only ignorant of the facts, it is actually highly hypocritical.

Oh and were they not ridiclous enough, “One Million” Moms has a Facebook page which has a total following of – nine.

1MM

You’re getting there, “One Million Moms” – only another 999.991 to go.

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Paddington Bare?

00000_AAAAAPaddingtonHello Luvs.  Quite a bizarre story has cropped up in the past few days.  A movie of Paddington, the much-loved children’s animation about a little bear coming to London from Peru, has received a PG (Parental Guidance) certificate by the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC).  The reasons for this are, quote, “dangerous behaviour, mild threat, mild sex references (and) mild bad language”.

Really dears?  Nestling among the countless horror movies (Children of the Corn, They Wait, Wolf Creek, Live from the House of Lords, etc) which make up the bulk of my DVD collection, there are a few children’s movies with a U (Universal) certificate, and which would fall under the above categories for the BBFC classifying Paddington as PG.  The delightful romp about a boy trying to rescue little people, The Borrowers certainly contains what could be considered dangerous behaviour, mild (and not so mild) threat, mild sex references and mild bad language.  Yet it received a U certificate and this is just one movie I shall reference in this article.

Comparing the two, the BBFC states that the dangerous behaviour is Paddington hiding in a fridge.  Fair enough.  But in The Borrowers we have the little people living underground and full-sized people trying to catch them, including going down drains. In Paddington the mild threat is a taxidermist threatening to “kill and stuff” the bear.  In The Borrowers the daughter and her boyfriend are threatened by the father on several occasions.  There are also scenes of actual violence in The Borrowers, and there is also plenty of bad language.

It is the mild sex references in Paddington however that the PG Certificate seems to pivot upon, and the reasons for referring to this are completely hypocritical of the BBFC.  You see dears, their problem is one man dressing in female clothes and flirting with another man.

Going back to The Borrowers there is the scene where the daughter finds a very sexy costume to wear and to which her mother says no, but she gets it anyway,  There are also flirting scenes between Stephen Fry and Victoria Wood and a boy/girl near kiss scene.  I am sure any one of you could find many movies with U certificates and aimed at children where the content could be considered mildly sexual and flirtatious.

So it seems to the BBFC that so long as the couple in any scene are cisgender / heterosexual then these scenes are perfectly valid.  Yet the moment any character veers from that, then it obviously warrants a PG certificate.  Well done BBFC in your efforts in bringing up another generation of little bigots.

What I do find bizarre is that younger kids, like the toddlers Paddington is aimed at, would probably take the scene in question more in their stride and laugh at it, which was obviously the intention.  It may have escaped the censors notice but pre-schoolers are much more interested in scanning the horizon for sweet shops than they are in gender and/or sexual diversity.  It is actually the older kids, 5 and up, we need to worry about; the ones who have already had gender and sexual stereotypes ingrained in them by uninformed and bigoted parents.  Frankly by giving Paddington a PG certificate, they are playing right into the bigoted mindset of those who lambasted Tinky-Winky in the Teletubbies as gay because “he” is purple, is topped by a triangle and carries a handbag (I say “he” but to the best of my knowledge the Teletubbies are gender-neutral).

On the other hand, if the media does not portray non-cis people to children, then however do we expect them to accept trans and gender-fluid people as normal?  There is still a long way to go but it is widely accepted that the portrayal of openly gay and lesbian people in the media has created much wider acceptance.  Indeed, the wider we portray all genders and sexualities, can only be helpful to non-cis and non-hetero children to come to terms with and accept that the urges within them are perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed of.

The creator of Paddington Bear, Michael Bond, is absolutely appalled at the allegations.  He told the Daily Mail, “I’d be very upset. I might not sleep well tonight. I can’t imagine what the sex references are. It doesn’t enter into it with the books, certainly,”  Michael Bond is one of the greatest creators of children’s stories and animation ever, and one of the heroes of my childhood, as well as millions of others around the world.  One can only therefore share his surprise at this ridiculous ruling by a board of bigoted cisgender censors who see offence where none was intended, and for that matter exists.

Poor old Paddington Bear; once a loveable kids character, now reduced to a life of vice and sleaze.

Mind you, even as a child, I did reckon Paddington was a bit gender-fluid.  After all, that hat is FABULOUS!  But Paddington, Lovey, please lose the duffle coat.  It is doing absolutely nothing for you Dearie.