Fun_People Archive
17 Mar
Sesame Street Press Release - D

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 98 17:37:39 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: Sesame Street Press Release - D

Forwarded-by: "Judy Webster" <>
Forwarded-by: James Gagne <>

 NEW YORK--A spokesperson for the letter D announced Monday that the
 consonant is withdrawing sponsorship from Sesame Street following a
 Children's Television Workshop announcement that a homosexual muppet will
 soon join the show's cast.

 "The letter D is proud to have brought you many wonderful Sesame Street
 episodes throughout the program's 28-year history," said Patricia Willis,
 public-relations director for D. "But the letter D does not condone the
 sort of morally questionable lifestyles that Sesame Street is advocating
 with the introduction of this new character. It can no longer in good
 conscience associate itself with the show."

 Willis said D's withdrawal is effective immediately, and applies to both
 capital and lower-case versions of the letter.

 The gay muppet, "Roger," will be introduced on Sesame Street Dec. 23, CTW
 director Leslie Charren said.. Thus far, no other sponsors have pulled out,
 though the number seven has requested an advance tape of the episode before
 it makes a decision.

 Many public-television insiders believe D's withdrawal was motivated by a
 desire not to alienate religious conservatives, a section of the population
 that employs the letter frequently.

 "D is for, among other things, demagoguery, dogma and doctrine, words
 crucial to right-wing groups like the Christian Coalition," said Yale
 University political-science professor J. Wright Franklin. "It is likely
 that D felt it could ill afford to offend such a large segment of its

 While a long-term replacement for D has not yet been secured by Sesame
 Street, the number three will temporarily fill in for it in a number of
 the show's animated shorts. Other pieces will simply skip from C to E, with
 vocalists stretching out C into two syllables to match the rhythm of the
 alphabet song.

 Sesame Street is stung by the sudden departure of its longtime supporter.
 Speaking to reporters, cast member Cookie Monster said:

 "Me disappointed letter D choose to end relationship with Sesame Street
 due to pressure from extremely vocal minority. We accused of endorsing
 deviant lifestyle. Me say homosexuality natural, not immoral. Diversity
 and enrichment. That good enough for me."

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