HIV-Positive Muppet Added in S.Africa

Discussion in 'Pandora's Box' started by Superjoint, Jul 13, 2002.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Good a modern thinking there at the Muppets!

    SJ


    Fri Jul 12, 3:40 PM ET
    By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer

    NEW YORK (AP) - The South African version of \"Sesame Street\" is introducing a character with a problem far more serious than scraped knees or missing cookies. She\'s HIV positive.


    The Muppet character will join the cast of the children\'s show in September to help educate children about AIDS at the urging of the South African government.

    Some 4.7 million South Africans - one in nine - are HIV positive, more people than in any other country in the world.

    There are no plans to incorporate an HIV-positive Muppet in the American or other versions of the show, said representatives of Sesame Workshop, its New York-based production company.

    Plans for the South African version were announced this week at the International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

    \"Takalani Sesame\" in South Africa is one of several locally produced versions of the children\'s program. Egypt, Russia, Germany, Mexico and Spain, among other countries, all have shows modeled after the American \"Sesame Street\" that premiered in 1969.

    The South African show uses Muppets similar to the American characters of Big Bird, Elmo and the Cookie Monster. The South African Cookie Monster, for example, is called Zikwe.

    Sesame Workshop hasn\'t revealed the new, HIV-positive character\'s name, but it will be a girl Muppet who is an orphan, said Robert Knezevic, head of the company\'s international division.

    In one script being developed, the character is sad because she misses her mother, he said. In another, the character is shunned by children who don\'t want to play with her because she is HIV-positive, but the other Muppets rally around her.

    Children won\'t be told how the character became HIV positive. Nor will the common ways that the virus is transmitted - through sexual contact or drug abuse - be discussed, he said.

    \"We don\'t think those are appropriate issues to deal with on the air through a television program that targets children,\" he said.

    Educational materials distributed to parents who request them will suggest ways of broaching the more delicate subjects with their children, he said. The government hopes the show will be a springboard for family discussions.

    \"One of the things about the Muppets is they are so non-threatening to children that we can communicate what may seem to be controversial messages and start a dialogue,\" Knezevic said.

    The American version of \"Sesame Street,\" for example, gingerly introduced the issue of the terrorist attacks by having Elmo be scared about a fire in the general store. The Egyptian version of the show frequently stresses the need for girls to get an education, at the government\'s behest.

    In South Africa, despite the large population infected with AIDS, there is a crushing stigma surrounding it. The government has been criticized for its often lackluster approach to fighting the disease, but recently expanded its budget as the Cabinet announced a strong effort to fight AIDS.

    \"We want to build hope and address the issues of stereotypes against HIV,\" said Yvonne Kgame of the South African Broadcasting Corp., which airs the program.

    \"The reality is that children as young as they are affected very closely by HIV/AIDS. They experience death and dying of people very close to them.\"
     
  2. nice!...its a good step in the right direction..especially for educating the next generation of south africans. Good for them.
     
  3. Considering 1 in 9 South Africans are HIV+ it is good that they\'re addressing the issue. I am glad to hear that they\'re handling it in the manner that they are, as well. Way to go SS!
    xo~
     
  4. That is so good to hear! Now we have to hope that the parents will do their part by disscusing it with the kids cause we all know your mom and dad influeince you more than elmo!
     
  5. YES, WE DO HAVE A PROBLEM HERE IN S.A AND IT HAS TAKEN OUR GOVERNMENT QUITE A FEW YEARS TO DEAL WITH THE HIV PROBLEM. IT JUST MAKES ME SAD THAT I HAVE TO FIND OUT ABOUT SUCH GREAT CHANGES (NO MATTER HOW SMALL) FROM INTERNATIONAL SORCES AND THAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS STILL A LITTLE UNWILLING TO GIVE NEVERIPINE AND ASSOCIATED AIDS DRUGS TO PREGNANT WOMEN AND OTHER INFECTED PEOPLE. BUT SOMTHING IS STILL BEING DONE SO WE MUST BE GREATFUL.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \" IF WE DO NOT PURSUE A WORLD-WIDE POLICY OF CONTRACEPTION, THEN SOME OTHER UNAVOIDABLE POPULATION LIMITING FACTOR WILL STEP IN.\"
    -THE HUMAN ZOO-
    -DESMOND MORRIS-
    -1969-

    \"WE ARE ALL POTENTIAL VICTIMS, AND THE MOST APPROPRIATE REACTION, WHEN WE COME ACROSS IT IN SOMEONE ELSE, IS SYMPATHY RATHER THAN INTOLERANCE.\"
    -THE HUMAN ZOO-
    -DESMOND MORRIS-
    -1969-

    \".....IN THE GENTLE RELIEF OF ANOTHERS CARE, IN THE DARKNESS OF THE NIGHT AND THE WINTER\'S SNOW; IN THE NAKED AND OUTCAST - SEEK LOVE THERE.\"
    -WILLIAM BLAKE-
     
  6. I just happened to be flipping through the radio dial yesterday and heard Rush Limbaugh\'s take on this.
    True to his pithy roots he bellowed that this didn\'t go far enough and suggested they make (among other things) a Jacko, the child pedaphile, doll.
    Hardy har har! That\'s a knee slapper.

    But maybe ol\' Rush is onto something?
    Why not make a Rushbo doll, the unique feature of which will be to watch how the lips instantly contort to a kissy kissy whenever he sees the Bush \"civil rights be damned! I\'m saving America\" doll, which magically turns into a puppet whenever it sees the Ariel \"I am not a warlike person\" Sharon doll.
     
  7. HIV-Positive TV Muppet Worries U.S. Lawmakers
    Mon Jul 15,12:43 AM ET

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Republican lawmakers are worried about plans to introduce an HIV ( news - web sites)-positive Muppet to the \"Sesame Street\" gang, Hollywood trade paper Daily Variety reported in its Monday edition.

    A day after show executives announced they would develop the as-yet-unnamed character for audiences in AIDS ( news - web sites)-ravaged South Africa, five members of the House committee on energy and commerce said the Muppet would be unwelcome on American TV.

    In a letter sent Friday to the president of the government-funded Public Broadcasting System, which airs \"Sesame Street,\" the lawmakers noted the average age of U.S. viewers of \"Sesame Street\" in the U.S. is 2- to 4-years old.

    \"As such, while it is important to teach children in an age-appropriate manner about compassion for those who contract certain diseases, we would like to inquire as to whether there is other PBS programming, aimed at an older age group, which may be more suitable for such sensitive messages,\" Daily Variety reported the letter as saying.

    The letter to PBS president Pat Mitchell was sent by committee chairman W.J. \"Billy\" Tauzin, a Louisiana Republican; as well as by Joe Barton of Texas; Richard Burr of North Carolina, Charles \"Chip\" Pickering of Mississippi, Cliff Stearns of Florida and Fred Upton of Michigan, the paper said.

    \"We look forward to working with you to ensure that only age and culturally appropriate programs air on PBS, which is a mainstay that millions of parents have come to rely upon over the past 35 years,\" the letter also read.

    Joel Schneider, vice president and senior adviser to the Sesame Street Workshop, announced the new female Muppet at the 14th International AIDS conference in Barcelona.

    It is scheduled for a Sept. 30 bow in South Africa, where one in nine people have the virus that can lead to AIDS. The local version of the show is called \"Takalani Sesame.\" Schneider told Reuters last week that there would be no explicit mention of sex.

    Daily Variety said Tauzin\'s letter gave Mitchell until Friday to answer such questions as the amount of money PBS dedicates to \"Sesame Street,\" how much is being earmarked for the new Muppet, whether she will be introduced to the United States and whether corporate underwriters might participate in the decision-making process.
     
  8. see, i think that thats a really good thing to do in south africa, given the government\'s refusal to provide adequate eduction and actually take any serious action against HIV.. i mean, over there its such a common thing.. just another fact of life basically. it would seem stupid NOT to make it a part of their popular culture.. i mean, with an epidemic that serious youve just gotta be down to earth sometimes, even with the little kids..
    but heres the kicker: they plan to bring the hiv positive muppet to the states. now you can call me a hypocrite, but that just seems pretty absurd to me, and pretty much a sign that PCness has gotten totally out of control.. i mean fuck, whats next? its not like north america really NEEDS this character as much as south africa does.. do they plan to inroduce kemo, the muppet with fucking cancer? how about one with the flesh eating disease? IMO life threatening diseases are NOT something that 2 year olds should be exposed to on fucking sesame street, unless its really, REALLY neccesary.
    no matter how \'politically correct\' it is to do so..

    anyone with me on this one?
     
  9. oh, and i think rush has pretty much established himself as shock media by now, making everything he has to say pretty much a joke. i find its best just to ignore him ;)
     
  10. might as well bite.
    why not throw kemo in eh? i do not think its wrong to teach compassion to a group of 2 to 4 year olds no matter what the case may be. although it leaves the door wide open to some heavy questions. then again so does the NEWS.
    peace
     
  11. I didn\'t know sesame street was so popular in South Africa.

    I don\'t know, though. A MUPPET to teach awareness of HIV? As much as it pains me to agree with Rush, I kinda do.

    How about pothead muppet? A testicular cancer muppet?

    I just think it\'s the wrong forum to discuss such things. Sesame street is for fun and learning about numbers and letters. There are other neat little lessons included, but I think lessons about HIV are over the line.

    It\'s a KIDS\' show!

    I suppose it\'s helpful for those who live in countries where sesame street is the only way to learn about these things, but my kids won\'t be watching sesame street with an HIV muppet.

    Sheesh!
     
  12. I think it\'s a great thing for South Africa. If it works out for them, then great.

    However, I saw some report the other day about men there who believe that raping a very young child will rid them of AIDS. Now, what character will they add to some show to get the point across to these imbeciles that raping a child will NOT cure their AIDS infected bodies. I\'m not guaranteeing that my numbers are right here but I believe they reported that a child is raped every 8 minutes there. Even if it was every 80 minutes, that is still too much. Education for the little ones is fine but it is more important to educate the adults so that the little ones can be left unexsposed to such horrible consequences that were never their fault.

    As far as the US having the character...I don\'t so much think so. I\'m totally with Phunkyphil. Political correctness is over-rated and that would just be a mistake to do that here.
     



  13. I agree whole-heartedly!

    And rape to rid one of AIDS? Come on! And I thought we were bad here in The States when we all thought that shaking the hand of an HIV+ person would transfer the disease.

    If this muppet would be helpful in a country where they rape to cure, then so be it. I won\'t complain about an HIV+ muppet if it\'s teaching these people ANYTHING more than they already \"know\". However, they should only have this muppet over where they have such problems.

    Here we are more educated on things. We don\'t need muppest teaching about STD\'s!

    How about proper condom use? DAMN!
     
  14. im with highawatha on this one, if you dont want your kids exposed to rape, murder, drugs, sex, AIDS, and so much more, then you should kick them out of the room when you watch THE NEWS!!! i mean the NEWS folks...whens the last time you heard a truly positive story on the news...THINK ABOUT IT......tonight at 9 man shot, woman raped, crime on the rise, aids on the rise, WAR WAR WAR WAR, drugs on the rise, prostitution on the rise, millions die in ajdotfjawefvne of starvation, blah blah blah blah, FUCKING SAY SOMETHING POSITIVE FOR ONCE...
     

  15. they gang-raped a 3 month old baby to be exact.. A FUCKING THREE MONTH OLD BABY.

    they should be fucking shot..
     
  16. they shouldnt be shot, that would be too nice, the should be tied down and buttfucked by the biggest elephants they have over there, and then burned....slowly.....thats just my opinion.
     

  17. uhh.. yeah.

    why would you let your kids watch the news? anyway, i think its more just that sesame street is a generally happy show.. an escape for young children, where they arent exposed to the many negative things in our society. isnt that how we define the difference between a kids show and something more mature, and the entire POINT of kids shows in general? if a 2 year old kid cant watch fucking sesame street without being bombarded with the ugly facts of life, then what can they watch? now like i said its one thing if its really, really neccessary, but it just plain isnt here in north america. young children just shouldnt have to deal with that kind of shit, and especially not if theyre watching a show with smiling puppets and happy black shopkeepers who like to sing about numbers..
     


  18. not if you shot them in the groin...




    repeatedly.
     
  19. i highly doubt that merely having an HIV positive muppet is BOMBARDING children with the facts of life
     

  20. Well I, for one, don\'t set my kids down and expect them to pay attention to the news at all. Once they start teaching about STD\'s on PBS I won\'t be sitting my kids down to watch sesame street anymore either.

    Let our children be innocent while they are children. Teach them to stay away from strangers and let them be kids!

    If I had a 5 year old come up to me and start discussing std\'s I\'d be in shock.

    We\'re starting them way too young when they learn about AIDS on sesame street!
     

Grasscity Deals Near You

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page