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Billy Porter Brings Fierce Vibes To Sesame Street

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Last Updated: 05 November 2020

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Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor Billy Porter will appear in the next season of Sesame Street With Elmo and His friends, wearing the black Tuxedo dress that he wore to the Academy Awards last year. Sesame Street today posted photos of Porter on Facebook and Twitter, showing him on an iconic set, with Muppet Elmo, and with an unnamed Muppet penguin. I guessing theres Tuxedo joke in there somewherebut, perhaps avian is also a subtle reference to many same-sex penguin pairs that really exist. Porter, who is gay, married his husband Adam Smith in 2017. The hashtag Season51 indicates episode will air as part of shows 51 season this fall. That will be the first season where episodes will debut on upcoming streaming service HBO Max before airing on PBS KIDS. Sesame Street has included few brief mentions of same-sex parents in the past several years and briefly showed Muppet Grover in Dress in the 2017 song Anyone Can Play, about breaking down gender roles. The show has also posted Pride Month messages on social media. Compared with some other shows for young children, however, it feels like a venerable series, known for its groundbreaking representation of other aspects of diversity, has been cautious in depicting clearly LGBTQ and gender-expansive characters. That caution may stem from shows historical places on public television PBS KIDS network, dependent on donations, grants, and member station dues for support. In the 2005 episode of PBS KIDS Postcards from Buster, produced by Bostons WGBH, Rabbit Buster visits Vermont to learn how maple-sugar and cheese are make. His tour guides are children from two different families, one of which is headed by two moms. Busters One comment on their family structure was, That lot of moms! Nevertheless, U. S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings denounced the episode and asked producers to return all federal funding. The Conservative American Family Association launched a campaign to support her decision. PBS pull episode. WGBH air it, however, and 57 other stations, representing more than half of PBS viewers, choose to broadcast it. Producer Jeanne Jordan told the New York Times in 2006, however, that controversy made it difficult to find funds for the second season. In 2015, however, Sesame Street ink deal with HBO whereby episodes air first on the cable network, and then on PBS KIDS. A new deal last fall will shift episodes to the new HBO Max streaming service this coming year. As I speculated a couple of years ago, perhaps the deal has given Sesame Street financial security to include content that some might see as controversial, such as LGBTQ characters. Promoting porters ' appearance in dress might be a big rainbow signal about new direction. We can only hope. Sesame Street has not been afraid to have LGB as guest star, including Neil Patrick Harris, Lance Bass, Margaret Cho, Ellen DeGeneres, Melissa Etheridge, Harvey Fierstein, Martina Navratilova, and Rosie ODonnellbut, it was never clear they were LGB.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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