CPAC President Calls To Defund PBS Over 'Sesame Street's' Asian-American Muppet

by Christina Marfice
SOPA Images/Getty

CPAC President Matt Schlapp called PBS “insane” and said it should lose funding after Sesame Street introduced a new Asian-American muppet

With the COVID-19 pandemic came an epidemic of violence and racial hate toward Asian Americans. Like the responsible, forward-thinking program that it is, Sesame Street sought to counteract that by introducing a new character this year: Ji-Young, a muppet who is a 7-year-old Korean girl. The move made history, as Ji-Young will be the first Asian-American muppet on Sesame Street. But naturally, not everyone saw this as the step forward toward better representation that it is.

Matt Schlapp, the president of the Conservative Political Action Committee, was quick to criticize the move, even going so far as to call for Sesame Street to be defunded.

“What race is Ernie is Bert?” Schlapp wrote in a tweet. “You are insane PBS and we should stop funding you.”

Later this week, Schlapp doubled down, appearing on Fox and Friends First to defend his tweet and his position.

“I grew up watching, and it wasn’t ever about race,” he said. “It was about learning lessons and learning to read and learning tolerance. And they want to inject race.”

I just want to pause here for a moment to point out the utter insanity of a grown man crying about how his beloved Sesame Street of old apparently helped kids learn tolerance — and now he wants it defunded for daring to broach subjects like racial and cultural tolerance. Does he even listen to himself speak? He must know that this argument is objectively insane, right?

But of course, Schlapp didn’t stop there. He also went on a tirade about how the Muppets address gender.

“And by the way, this whole question about gender into everything, one of the Muppet characters had a son, and the son wanted to be a daughter, and they just won’t stop with their push for woke politics,” he said.

It’s unclear what Schlapp might be referring to, because there’s never been an openly trans character on Sesame Street. In one episode of the cartoon Muppet Babies, Gonzo, who is a blue alien, puts on a dress to go to a party as “Gonzo-rella,” so maybe that’s what Schlapp is so upset about?

For all the sane, rational people in the world, Ji-Young will be introduced to Sesame Street in a Thanksgiving episode called “See Us Coming Together.” She will be an electric guitar player and skateboarder who learns about her family’s culture from her mother and grandmother and honors it through her favorite foods. Sounds like a character our kids can love — and learn from.