Big Bird Asks to Be Left Out of Politics

Sesame Workshop: We ‘have requested that the ad be taken down’

Big Bird / AP Images
October 9, 2012

The organization behind "Sesame Street" has said that it did not authorize President Barack Obama’s campaign ad featuring the character Big Bird and has requested that the spot be taken down, according to a statement on its website.

"Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns," Sesame Workshop said in a statement posted on its website. "We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down."

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the network that televises "Sesame Street," did not respond to a Washington Free Beacon request for comment.

The Obama campaign sought to capitalize on comments by Republican challenger Mitt Romney vowing to end government subsidies to PBS and "Sesame Street" by releasing the ad Thursday on the Internet and on television.

The advertisement, which features "Sesame Street" character Big Bird, seeks to demonize Romney for proposing to end the subsidy.

"Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about, it’s 'Sesame Street,'" an announcer declares in the ad. "Mitt Romney. Taking on our enemies, no matter where they nest."

Commentators on both sides of the political spectrum criticized the Obama campaign for running the ad.

"There's something deeply revealing about Obama's blithe willingness to portray Wall Street as an enemy," Weekly Standard editor William Kristol wrote. "Wall Street is key to American prosperity—even to American greatness. Lots of important and impressive Americans have had careers on Wall Street. What Wall Street does is important. Wall Street matters."

The liberal website Firedoglake also criticized team Obama Thursday morning.