By Joline Hammerstein/EEW MAGAZINE News Contributor
The Obama campaign released a satirical attack ad against Mitt Romney featuring Big Bird, but some people aren't laughing. Sesame Workshop CEO Melvin Ming said, "[It] was a violation of our ethics. They did not have permission. Our goal is to reach every child in America. We don't contaminate that with anything."
Big Bird has been at the center of a political controversy since last week's U.S. presidential debate. Republican candidate Mitt Romney told PBS news anchor Jim Lehrer he would cut funding for PBS and Sesame Street if he is elected president to reduce deficit and spending.
Seeing it as an opportunity to paint Romney as a cold-hearted and off-focus presidential candidate more interested in “public TV reform” than “Wall Street reform,” President Obama used Big Bird in a campaign smashing Romney.
This upset Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, which has requested that the campaign pull the ad off air.
"Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns," the group said. "We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down."
When asked about Big Bird's role in the presidential campaign, CEO Melvin Ming said: "Big Bird is a symbol of a commitment of a generation to have commercial-free television as that first school for preschoolers. Our commitment is to be where the children are with the media that help them grow and learn."
The U.S. economy is in serious trouble and many are saying frivolous attacks like this keep the American people distracted from the real issues. Some pundits are even suggesting the attack ad may do more harm to Obama than Romney due to all the controversy it is currently stirring up.
What are your thoughts about the Big Bird controversy?