The Muppets have been an American institution ever since Jim Henson created the brand in 1955. The brand has branched out into multiple platforms, one of the most successful of which is long-running television show, Sesame Street.
I first saw Sesame Street as a young child and even then the protect had been numbed down to cater the needs of sheltering parents. When Sesame Street first began, the program taught valuable lessons to children and didn’t care much for the politics of the parental discretionaries. The show was able to run successfully without sheltering parents complaining about every skit.
One scene in particular from the show’s early years shows Kermit the Frog berating the Cookie Monster to show children what anger is and why expressing it can be hurtful. Kermit uses words like “stupid” and “worst” to express his anger at Cookie Monster. The segment was merely teaching children about feelings. No parents complained to the FCC or anything of the like.
This clip along with most of the original few seasons of the show are featured in a box set titled, Sesame Street: Old School. The box set comes with a warning label that reads: For Adults Only. The censors do not feel that the content is appropriate for children in this day and age.
Children don’t need this protection… parents do! The parents complained to the FCC when Katy Perry guest starred on the show in 2010 to sing a song with Elmo. Parents were outraged by Katy Perry’s cleavage. The show banned the clip. Kids didn’t care about cleavage, they were more concerned with Elmo’s misadventures. My own nephew didn’t even realize there was a woman in the sketch. He kept jabbering about Elmo’s fur.
The Katy Perry incident is a perfect example of how parents try too much to shelter their children. Sesame Street: Old School must have a warning label because parents are afraid to expose their children to the truths of the world. This causes extreme social issues later in a child’s life. In my own experience, my friends who were sheltered by overprotective parents have always turned out worse than those with parents who were less strict.
The world we live in does not even want children to views older episodes of an innocent child’s program. When did the world become so sheltering and begin to shy the eyes of the young away from real issues and real scenarios. It may scare your child to know there are bad things in the world but that is no excuse to pretend these issues do not exist.