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