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Sesame Street

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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

A number of pro-family leaders are starting to ask if Sesame Street is safe for kids. Of course, this isn’t the first time that question has been asked. But recent events are the reason for asking the question with even greater concern.

For more than 50 years, the television show Sesame Street has been a program that parents could endorse. It had lovable characters and even taught children some basic educational concepts along with important social skills. Sometimes there would be an attempt by one of the writers to push the envelope, but generally, parents could expect that this television program would reinforce the values they were teaching their kids at home.

That seems to be changing, which is why James Gottry wonders in a recent column, “Is Sesame Street Still Safe?” One example is the announcement that Billy Porter would be featured on the program. He is an actor who has also been described as a “gay icon.” He stars in a television show about LGBTQ issues. A few years ago, he received a Tony Award for his portrayal of a “drag queen” Lola in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots. He wore a tuxedo gown to the Oscars last year. By the way, he brought that dress to Sesame Street.

When a petition was launched to protest his appearance, Billy Porter responded, “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.” He also added that critics should “stay out of my bedroom.” Tony Perkins (Family Research Council) had a great response to him. “Leave the bedroom out of our children’s shows, it won’t be our business.”

We are living in a different world when a television program that has generally been safe for kids for a half-century invites a gay activist on the program, and thus into our homes. The latest controversy surrounding Sesame Street once again illustrates why parents need to be involved in their child’s life more than ever before.

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