Conservative leader calls for defunding of PBS over 'Sesame Street' intro of Asian American muppet

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·2 min read
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  • Matt Schlapp
    American conservative lobbyist
  • Alan Muraoka
    Actor and theatre director

A conservative union chairman has called out PBS and proposed to defund the network after its children's show “Sesame Street” introduced its first-ever Asian American Muppet early this week.

What happened: Matt Schlapp, the president of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), took to Twitter on Monday to criticize PBS and “Sesame Street” for introducing Ji-young, a 7-year-old Korean American Muppet.



  • What race is Ernie is Bert? You are insane PBS and we should stop funding you,” Schlapp tweeted.

  • Although the popular American children’s show has already featured Asian Americans in the past, such as Alan Muraoka, who played shopkeeper Alan, Ji-young will make history as the series’ first Asian American Muppet since its inception in 1969.


The reaction: Many social media users quickly called out Schlapp’s comment about a puppet on a children's TV show.









  • Another user also shared screenshots of Schlapp’s past social media posts in which he echoed the same anti-Asian remarks Trump used in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.





Not the first: This was not the first time a conservative has called out “Sesame Street” for teaching children about the values of respect, health and inclusion.

  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) criticized Big Bird, one of the show’s most iconic characters, earlier this month after he tweeted about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.





Featured Image via Getty (left), NPR (right)

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