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Sesame Street Censored

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A seemingly innocent song from Sesame Street was banned from the show in 1984. Do you think its removal was justified?

Here's something that'll make you feel old: Sesame Street started its 39th season yesterday. Jack Black --father to Sammy, 2 and Tommy, 2 months--hosted. But the beloved show, which has been delighting kids and adults for almost 40 years hasn't been without its controversy.

Long before there were complaints regarding homosexual undertones of lifelong roommates Ernie and Bert or whether Cookie Monster is a good nutritional role model, a seemingly innocent song was pulled from the show. Prairie Dawn's "I Want a Monster to Be My Friend,"  received a complaint from Marty Deming, a mother of two, according a 1984 New York Times article. She objected to four lines because she feared they would encourage child molestation:

If I make friends with a friendly monster,
I'll let him bounce me on his knee.
I'll let him do whatever he wants to,
Especially if he's bigger than me.

The concerned mom was told by reps of the Children's Television Workshop they'd remove the song from the show even though the producers felt the song "has nothing to do with encouraging children to let real adult persons make improper advances on them."

Do you think this was a case of adult imaginations running wild--or a legitimate concern for children's safety?

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11 comments so far | Post a comment now
meg24_83 August 12, 2008, 12:12 PM

OMG! And considering I was a yr old when this came out, I do feel old. This is too funny, no wonder it was banned…lol

birdsfly August 12, 2008, 12:36 PM

I’ve seen a softer version of Prarie Dawn doing this song on the show and this song was also on “Elmo Palooza”

Too much August 12, 2008, 12:44 PM

Are you kidding me? There is nothing wrong with the lyrics. We’re talking about muppets here. Grover is a “monster” should we be worried if he’s near our kids or sitting on his knee?

Anonymous August 12, 2008, 1:00 PM

totally justified. it’s creepy.

Nicole August 12, 2008, 2:21 PM

I find it a little creepy.

foxymama August 12, 2008, 7:26 PM

In today’s day and age we just read into everything. What has become of us?

dixiegirl August 12, 2008, 9:38 PM

It’s creepy. Why those phrases? Couldn’t the writiers come up with anything else?

Anonymous August 12, 2008, 10:04 PM

Um, because it was 1984.

Katie August 13, 2008, 1:02 PM

It is a weird song… I don’t see the point of it. It seems like people are reading too much into it, but I don’t like the song either way. It sounds a little creepy, but I just don’t like how all of a sudden Prairie Dawn’s voice sounds like an adult… that’s creepy.

praying4baby#2 August 15, 2008, 12:21 AM

Yeah I think it sends the wrong message. It might give children the impression that anyone bigger than them can do whatever they want to them!!

Anna August 16, 2008, 4:15 AM

yea, its justified it, definatly could be translated that way. I think that for the most part sesame street has done pretty well not having that many shows removed considering how long its been on air.

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