The organization known as One Million Moms is calling for a boycott of The Muppets because they say it’s not family-friendly. Here’s why they should calm down.
According to their website, One Million Moms claims that The Muppets is “not what Jim Henson imagined and created… it is not the show it once was. ABC has ruined The Muppets.”
But Jim Henson famously wanted his show to entertain adults. The New York Times wrote this about Henson’s original vision, “Kermit and coterie were primarily created to entertain adults, and they live in the real world. Henson was so insistent that they stand apart from his Sesame Street creations in personality and tone that he (misleadingly) titled the 1975 pilot that would boost their careers The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence.”
The Muppets franchise is now owned by Disney and clearly intends to restore Henson’s vision, particularly now that reality TV is so popular with viewers of all ages. The new show takes a mockumentary format and promises to focus on the personal lives of Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog, as it will show much of what goes on “behind the scenes” of Miss Piggy’s late-night talk show.
Looking a little deeper into the One Million Moms protest, we think we figured out the real reason why the conservative group is calling for a boycott. “Miss Piggy came out as a pro-choice feminist during an MSNBC interview. The puppet characters loved by kids in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond are now weighing in on abortion and promiscuity,” says the One Million Moms’ article.
We think it’s highly unlikely that a discussion about abortion rights will be part of the TV show, but if it is, we’ll support Miss Piggy’s right to choose.
So, will there be some racy jokes? Absolutely! But most of them will be told in a non-overt way or as a double entendre.
Executive producer Bob Kushell recently told TVLine.com, “The writers are thinking in a way where you don’t go to the more racy joke first, you go to the clever way to say the racy joke. It’s becoming second nature very quickly.” Sounds just like the old The Muppet Show from the 1970s to us.
The Muppets airs tonight on ABC.