When I was a small child, Sesame Street was a highlight of my day. It was the one program my parents allowed me to watch.
Now I will confess that I have deprived my own children of Sesame Street because of the studies about children and television-watching, and because I felt that Sesame Street was becoming too politically correct for my liking. I also felt that some of the “role models” held up for children on Sesame Street are not those I would have chosen for my children.
I believe childhood is threatened in our generation, and I want to do whatever I can for my own children to create a genuine childhood, majoring in play and imagination and the love of good books. I am influenced, perhaps, by my homeschooling philosophy, which draws heavily from the ideas of Charlotte Mason.
But this week, my hat is off to Sesame Street after they issued a statement in response to the online petition calling for the “marriage” of Bert and Ernie.
In response to this ridiculous request, made to give “support and hope to the youth out there,” Sesame Street offered the following:
“They remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation [they are] male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics…Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves.”
In a world where it is easy to bend to the will of others for the sake of marketing and popularity, they made a stand. How rare.
Thank you, Sesame Street, for preserving childhood.