While spouting off federal programs he would cut in order to lower the country’s deficit, the Republican presidential candidate turned to PBS news anchor Jim Leherer and said:
“I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you too, but I’m not going to spend money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.”
Although he had told older audiences who wouldn’t be affected by his Medicare changes to stop listening earlier in the evening, THOUSANDS stopped listening to tweet about the Sesame Street jab.
Everyone’s favorite gigantic yellow bird became the hottest topic on Twitter so how could the organization that employs his tail feather NOT respond?
And when Sesame Workshop DID respond, it made sure to take the high road and said:
We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. We do not comment on campaigns, but we├óΓé¼Γäóre happy we can all agree that everyone likes Big Bird!
— Sesame Workshop (@SesameWorkshop) October 4, 2012
So true! We don’t care if you’re left or right, liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat — what has Big Bird ever done but provide educational entertainment for our children?
Rest assured though. No matter who gets elected in November, Jim Henson‘s creation isn’t going anywhere. Since PBS only receives 15% of its funding from Uncle Sam, the show will go on.
Sherry Westin, executive VP and chief marketing officer of the Workshop, explained:
“We are able to raise our funding through philanthropic, through our licensed product, which goes back into the educational programming, through corporate underwriting and sponsorship. So quite frankly, you can debate whether or not there should be funding of public broadcasting. But when they always try to tout out Big Bird, and say we’re going to kill Big Bird ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ that is actually misleading, because Sesame Street will be here.”
Yayyyyy! We’d hate for future generations to miss out on one of our friendliest cultural staples. Wouldn’t U?