Sesame Street to introduce HIV+ Muppet

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by MadMardigan, Jul 12, 2002.

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  1. Gonzonaut Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2000
    star 3
    My only qualm is that I don't understand how aMuppet contracts the human immunodeficiency virus. ;)
  2. council_of_trent Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2002
    star 1
    Very carefully. (or not, if you think about it.)
  3. TeeBee Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 3
    The article also mentioned that the makers of Sesame Street were considering having Bert and Ernie "come out."

    For heaven's sake...why? I never, ever, in my wildest kidlet dreams, thought of Bert and Ernie even as ADULTS, much less weird for living together. They slept in the same room in different beds, much like brothers and sisters do when young. (Maybe we just never saw their 'parents' much like we never do in Peanuts comics or cartoons.) And if one wants to argue that they are playing 'adults', does that mean the Odd Couple and Laverne and Shirley need to "come out" as well? Since when are same-sex roomates necessarily secretly gay? ?[face_plain]

    Bert and Ernie didn't have an 'age' or 'lifestyle', they just WERE.
  4. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    "My only qualm is that I don't understand how a Muppet contracts the human immunodeficiency virus."

    I don't even want to think about it... ;)
  5. 1stAD Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 5
    Well, those muppets always have something stuck up their...never mind ;)
  6. BroodMcEto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2002
    star 4
    Tina, maybe it will be Muppet Immunodeficiancy Virus, MIV+. I think that would be a good way to introduce it. That way kids can figure out on their own what they are relating to. That way they can concentrate on the disease rather than the way it's contracted. I think it can be done, and done well. Sesame Street has always done well on its own and will continue to do so. They have smart creative people working for them that put kids before money. As long as it continues that way, then I don't think we need to worry about it. Especially those of us without children.
  7. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    I think it's just crazy. Kids should be allowed to be kids. Children grow up too quickly these days as it is, why should they even need to think or worry about these things?
  8. 1stAD Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 5
    Not crazy, I think in South Africa a staggering 10% of children have HIV (don't quote me on this, my memory might be faulty). That's too many children that may face unjust scorn in their short lives.

    It's not like this character is being introduced everywhere either.
  9. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    I still think it's over the top. Kids will get used to it anyway, they don't need it shoved down their throats.
  10. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Sesame Street to introduce HIV+ Muppet

    What's next, a muppet of Palestinian decent who is wearing explosives? <----Would only be released in Israel and on Israli channels.

    Amazing.
  11. 1stAD Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 5
    Well, kids didn't "need" tolerance towards other races to be "shoved down their throats" in earlier Sesame Street episodes either...

    As for the Palestinian muppet, be VERY careful Wylding, you may become Israel's next big television producer [face_laugh]
  12. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    They did that? I don't recall any racial tolerance messages being pushed so forcefully. The puppets were yellow, green, blue and pink.

    I think there was simply a message of tolerance to everyone put forward. They didn't single anything out that I remember.

    I just don't see the need for it.
  13. ferelwookie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    It's a sad little p.c. world we're bringing kids up in these days. :( Isn't there more appropriate ways of handling and discussing topics like this with kids? Why not have a cartoon mouse "inform" the kids on the risk of herpes then?!
  14. 1stAD Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 5
    Yes, I was sleepless one night and watched a VH1 special on Sesame Street. The actual episode in question, IIRC, didn't deal with a muppet but an actual child who was (playing the part of) being discriminated against. Mind you, this took place in the early 70's.

    ferel, kids don't get herpes in the same rates (or at all, at least I hope) that they contract HIV (in South Africa at least, which is where this particular character is being introduced).
  15. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    Well, that's Ok, showing intolerant behaviour in a poor light occasionally.

    But I bet they didn't have a character like "Sally, the oppressed minority" did they?
  16. ferelwookie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    Again...do South African kids really need to be told this through the use of a PUPPET? I think we underestimate what children are capable of handling. I think if we are going to have kids discuss this, we should deal with it in a serious manner instead of condesending and attempting to pass of information as "entertainment". Just my two cents.
  17. 1stAD Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 5
    I won't disagree with you there. What's most likely the rationale behind all this is that the Children's Television Workshop thinks that they can make a ton of money off this character in the South African market.
  18. Short Round McFly Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 1999
    star 6
    I hear that they're making a new Peyronese Muppet. And how to address the disease :( Just kidding.

    I'm glad I didn't have to go through my first decade of kid-ness knowing about all these bad things(I still regret knowing about all this horribleness today!), so I kind of feel sorry for the viewers that it might POSSIBLY in America be subjected to all this. Just because there are terrible things in this world doesn't mean everyone has to know about it at a young age.

    I might get flamed for this, but this is a forum made for opinion, so...

    With situations like HIV, homosexuality, abortion, etc. I don't think it's a good idea to use these as subjects for a children's educational show because it shows a bias toward a certain point of view and situations with two factions of people(The agreeing and disgreeing sides).

    It's a parent's choice(In the younger years) to bring up their children agreeing to their point of view on situations which either have an Agreeing or Disagreeing faction and a TV show, agreeing or disagreeing on a subject with let's say abortion, would just infringe on what the parent wants for their childen. A TV show shouldn't be doing a parent's job.

    Like when they said that Bert and Ernie would "Come out of the closet."

    Bert and Ernie fans would say, "Oh, I always knew they were homosexuals!" and some would say "ARGHH! I don't like them any more!" but what if it was the other way around? Some would say "I knew they weren't gay! I knew they were phobes!" and then some would say "I always thought they were homosexuals!"

    So besides the fact that it would interfere with what a parent wants their kid to be raised as, it would create division among the fans :(

    The parenting should be left up to the parents ;)
  19. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    We need to have a bio-hazard suited muppet. It will teach the children about the dangers of ebola.
  20. dizfactor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    kids in Africa are growing up in a different environment than any of us (unless some of us grew up in Africa) can really relate to. the HIV+ Muppet is not going to be introducing them to HIV. they already know about it. anyone living in Africa, no matter how young, is aware of HIV.

    why? because a huge number of people have it. the scope of the plague there is staggering. every kid who knows other kids already knows other kids with HIV - hell, a good number of them have it themselves. this is not Sesame Street introducing some scary part of the world to them before they're ready. ready or not, it's already something they deal with every day. this is to help them cope with it and to help them understand that they don't have to be afraid of the kids that they know who have HIV, that they can play with them and touch them and not get sick. that's all.

    i can't see how anyone who understands how widespread AIDS is in Africa could possibly have a problem with this.
  21. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Kids should still have the right to be kids for awhile now matter how widespread a deadly disease is...

    But still, I wanna market my "Curious George and the Ebola virus" book [face_devil]
  22. Rebecca191 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 1999
    star 6
  23. Jedi_Master_Mom Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    star 2
    1 in 9 people in Africa are infected with HIV, its something that the kids have to deal with everyday. I think its nice that a child with HIV will have a muppet they can identify with. And children will learn that they don't have to be afraid of their peers who are HIV positive. They have no plans on having this character in any other part of the world, so basically its up to the parents and caregivers there to decide if this is something they want.
  24. jiabaoyu Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2000
    star 3
    Africa is currently going through an AIDS crisis. Whole villages are dying because of this disease. I think Sesame Street is doing South African society a great service by helping to explain such a terrible disease to young children.

    To the people who find this 'too PC'. Would you object if a children's show here in the US were to approach the topic of terrorists? or the events of Sept 11th?

    It's an adult subject certainly, but the events of Sept. 11th are so great that the entire country is affected by that, and small children knows this but can't comprehend the situation. This is similar to what is happening to much of Africa, including South African. You have an entire continent affected by a horrible disease...these children CANNOT be sheltered from this, the next best thing would be to explain to them in simple terms what AIDS is and to not be afraid of it.

    I wonder if part of the controversy stems from the fact that AIDS is percieved as an STD (which it is)...but remember, AIDS is transmitted through blood, like many diseases...would people object so much if they had a muppet that had tubuculousis? or cancer? or some innocous disease that is known to be transmitted through non-sexual means?

    If that was yet, just remember that many children have AIDS, passed through their mother at birth. Blood transfusions also creates young victims, it's not just an STD.

    As for the idea that "young children can't be young children anymore"...a hundred years ago, all countries suffered from high infant mortality.

    For much of human history, only about half of children survived infancy, and many didn't reach their fifth birthday. Society did not treat children kindly. Most worked from a young age, many married and started families before they grew out of their teens. Public executions were family events. Children have witnessed many atrocities throughout human history.

    It's only in modern times that we were able to 'shield' children from the horrors of the world.

    Just my two cents. :)
  25. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    I think the problem is the social stigma about HIV is still affecting America.

    Think about this...

    Would you be opposed to, say, a muppet who talks about coping with acute nasopharyngeal symptoms resulting from rhinovirus infection?

    I hope not. It's the common cold.

    Would you be opposed to a muppet talking about chicken pox?

    How about an anemic muppet that talks about being careful not to bruise or cut yourself?

    My point is... people still associate, unfortunately, HIV predominantly with sex, most particularly homosexuality. Thanks to idiots like Jesse Helms who have made patently absurd statements claiming that AIDS would end if homosexual activity ceased, we have a nation of people scared out of their wits to think about this devastating disease that is contracted in a variety of ways.

    In America, this is not as much a statement about how PC we are becoming... as it is a statement about how horribly uneducated we are when it comes to science.

    We're not talking about a muppet who discusses sexuality... We're talking about a muppet who has a virus that, in South Africa, is becoming too common because of unawareness.

    Get it out of your heads, people... HIV is not the "sinner's" virus. Most kids acquire it through blood transfusions. Not drug needles, not sex... blood transfusions.

    Are you afraid to hear some muppet talking about a flipping blood transfusion?

    This is how stupid we've become as a nation? To be afraid to have our children gain knowledge of blood transfusions?

    I don't know about you... but I would want my children to gain as much knowledge as they can so they can actually function in the world without having to call mommy and daddy every five minutes for explanations of how the world works.

    Most parents in America aren't that involved in their children's education anyway... because they don't make the time.

    So, you start talking to your kids about these issues... and get involved in their education... for their sake, and society's.

    What's next? Bobby dies of an asthma attack because his parents don't want to face the truth?
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