Sesame Street: "D is For Divorce: Big Feelings on Sesame Street"
American breathed a sigh of relief when President Obama was re-elected, not because of his Medicare plans or immigration policies, but because the alternative would have been Mitt Romney, who had released plans to cut funding to PBS, which would have effectively meant cutting funding for Sesame Street.
The beloved show has proved its worth once more this week with an episode focussing on divorce. Sesame Street has never been a vacuous show, and was once of the first edutainment shows- everyone loves and learns from Count Dracular. But as the show itself comes under the radar since one of its executives was effectively forced into resignation due to allegations of underage sex with boys, dealing with more serious issues has become increasingly pertinent, such as divorce.
In the episode frilly pink fairy Abby Cadabby talks to Elmo about her two houses, one where she lives with Mommy and one with Daddy. Accompanying the episode is an online video from the Sesame Street makers, explaining their decision.
Lewis Bernstein Exective VP says: "50% of marriage end in divorce. Children are aware of it. How do we help those children? That's been one of our goals." The video, which includes archive footage, reveals that in the early '90s an episode had been made about divorce but that the feedback had not been good. It tackled the divorce's occurrence, whereas the latest episode sees divorce from a distance, giving children whose own parents may be going through a divorce and having a difficult time, the prospect of hope in the future when their lives can be settled again, making divorce far less scary. "Back then I thought I'd be mad and sad forever." Abby Caddabby says. "But things are better now?" She's is asked. "Well yeah, it took a while, but I've got used to the changes now."
The video also includes a brief retrospective about all the other serious issues this gorgeous show has covered from death to hurricanes. All of which proves, despite the allegations against Kevin Clash, Sesame Street is still and has always been an enormously valuable programme for children, and probably one that adults can still learn from too.