Someone told them how to get to E. Capitol Street and so a handful of Sesame Street actors went to Washington today.
It wasn’t a Super Grover adventure, either. Rather, the real people actors joined union workers and activist groups to protest proposed cuts on public broadcasting funding.
Emilio Delgado, Roscoe Orman, Bob McGrath, Alan Muraoka, and Alison Bartlett O’Reilly — members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists who play recurring characters Luis, Gordon, Bob, Alan and Gina on the longest-running children’s educational television show — joined forces in the nation’s capital to convince the Senate to fully fund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Will their faces, so familiar to the lawmakers’ kids or grandkids, be convincing?
The Republican-dominated House voted to cut all funding to PBS — more than $400 million. Though, as we hear over and over, most PBS station funding comes from viewers, public participation in funding free, it’s important for every country to have some kind of non-commercially funded broadcast system, a role the Corporation for Public Broadcasting plays in the U.S.
Shows like Sesame Street, which have successfully turned many of their characters into money-making machines would certainly survive, aren’t at risk for going away. But it’s not enough to simply move them over to channels like Sprout. Cable should be a requirement. Millions of kids’ access to children’s programming would change, if not right away, then eventually.