Sesame Street has always presented an alternative (accurate) understanding of social issues in the United States. This picture below of the cast highlights just how forward-looking, Star Trek-like, if you will, SS was and continues to be. It seems like values of diversity, equity, and dignity for all rubbed some conservatives the wrong way, most recently in 2021, when Mark Schlapp, president of the Conservative Political Action Conference, called for defunding Sesame Street over the introduction of an Asian-American muppet character. Some American conservatives have opposed Sesame Street since its inception during the Nixon Regime.
"Sesame Street was built on helping disadvantaged children (often minorities) learn numbers and the alphabet before kindergarten. It featured diversity in its cast, and was available for free. Whether they called it "dangerous" or "woke" people have always tried to stop it," reads the caption to the picture from a Muppet History December 7 post.
Check out the trailer to Street Gang: How we got to Sesame Street. It is available for streaming on any number of platforms.
"Inspired by the book by Michael Davis, the film focuses on the first two decades of Sesame Street and follows the original "gang" – Joan Ganz Cooney, Jon Stone, and Jim Henson. The film, directed by Marilyn Agrelo and produced by Trevor Crafts and Ellen Scherer Crafts, takes audiences inside the minds and hearts of the Sesame Street creators, artists, writers, and educators who together established one of the most influential and enduring children's programs in television history."
The book by Michael Davis was a New York Times bestseller.
Real or imaginary? For a fascinating look at the character "Aloysius Snuffleupagus," check out these insightful comments from the producers, directors, actors, and puppeteers from Mental Floss's "Oral History: In 1985, Mr. Snuffleupagus Shocked Sesame Street."