I saw this story on Buzzfeed on Friday. As someone who grew up with Sesame Street, the fact that familiar faces like Bob, Luis, Gordon, Olivia, and Maria still showed up when I started showing the program to my son some 30 years later gave me a sense of odd nostalgia. Although there are always critics, I strongly stand behind Sesame Street and its programming.
(Although I have no use for Elmo, to be completely honest. I find his speaking in third person confusing and his presence nonsensical amongst stronger characters.)
That said, the long standing (human) cast members getting the ax, especially on the heels of writer Sonia Manzano (Maria’s) message after winning her 15th Emmy on the show that the power lies behind the camera seems to indicate that perhaps the show’s acquisition by HBO hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows.
Beyond these important cast member changes, the show is moving from public television to a paid channel and is cutting itself from the traditional hour long program to half that.
Perhaps it’s the cranky old person in me, but I want my program to stay the same, not just for me, but to share its magic with my son’s generation. There’s so few children’s shows out there than I can get behind, and this one for me has stood the test of time.
Although the original article has been updated to say that due to the backlash a conversation has begun to keep at least one of the beloved cast members about to be cut. It’s my hope that they continue to keep these long standing voices as part of the program, because I feel like they still have so much to say.
And as one generation ages, and has children of their own, sharing a program like this gives us a touchstone to recall our own beloved childhood memories, and many of them include these amazing adults who’ve dedicated their lives to the betterment of children’s programming.