Conservative leader calls for defunding of PBS over ‘Sesame Street’ intro of Asian American muppet

Conservative leader calls for defunding of PBS over ‘Sesame Street’ intro of Asian American muppet
Bryan Ke
By Bryan Ke
November 18, 2021
A conservative union chairman has called out PBS and proposed to defund the network after its children’s show “Sesame Street” introduced its first-ever Asian American Muppet early this week.
What happened: Matt Schlapp, the president of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), took to Twitter on Monday to criticize PBS and “Sesame Street” for introducing Ji-young, a 7-year-old Korean American Muppet.
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  • What race is Ernie is Bert? You are insane PBS and we should stop funding you,” Schlapp tweeted.
  • Although the popular American children’s show has already featured Asian Americans in the past, such as Alan Muraoka, who played shopkeeper Alan, Ji-young will make history as the series’ first Asian American Muppet since its inception in 1969.
The reaction: Many social media users quickly called out Schlapp’s comment about a puppet on a children’s TV show.
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  • Another user also shared screenshots of Schlapp’s past social media posts in which he echoed the same anti-Asian remarks Trump used in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Not the first: This was not the first time a conservative has called out “Sesame Street” for teaching children about the values of respect, health and inclusion.
  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) criticized Big Bird, one of the show’s most iconic characters, earlier this month after he tweeted about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
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Featured Image via Getty (left), NPR (right)
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