The news that First Lady Dr. Jill Biden is teaming up with Sesame Street and Muppet Rosita to discuss race and kindness with military families, per USA Today, is exciting, but it just draws attention to the fact that Melania Trump did not partner up with the show during her time in the White House. It’s another example of the Trump administration being too hot to handle for even the furry, lovable creatures on one of the most recognizable children’s shows.
This isn’t the first time the former first lady was snubbed, a recent Vogue cover with Jill stirred up some old tensions about the cover Melania didn’t get. But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t asked for an interview, Vogue wanted to speak with her, but they couldn’t guarantee a cover story, per Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s memoir, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady.
“Vogue reached out to Melania, hoping to schedule an Annie Leibovitz photo shoot of the First Lady in the White House, with writer Rob Haskell shadowing her for a few days to write a profile. All that sounded great, but the magazine could not guarantee that Melania would appear on the cover,” Winston Wolkoff revealed. And not every First Lady has been lucky enough to grace the front of the magazine. “Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, yes. Laura and Barbara Bush, no,” wrote the author.
So just like Vogue, a partnership with Sesame Street isn’t always promised, but it’s hard to overlook the fact that every First Lady since Barbara Bush first worked with them in 1989 — and that list includes two Republicans, and now, three Democrats. It’s hard not to see that it’s just a Trump thing. While we have no insight on how Children’s Television Workshop made their decision to skip Melania, one anonymous magazine editor summed up the situation to NBC News back in 2018. “For some people, it’s a moral issue,” said the source said. “There is no way to do the Trumps without infuriating either the base or the resistance. It is a no-win.”
Given that Sesame Street is a children’s series, they probably didn’t want to step into the fray, but now that Jill is working with the Muppets, it’s hard not to acknowledge the rejection.
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Before you go, click here to see our favorite photos of President Joe Biden’s big family.