While many nostalgic Americans are looking forward to the return of the Muppets to network television on Tuesday, one group is less than thrilled, deriding the new, more adult-themed show featuring the beloved 1970’s felt puppets as “perverted” and calling on ABC to can the program: the pro-family One Million Moms.
In the run-up to the show’s premiere, ABC’s promotional campaign has focused on Kermit and Miss Piggy’s alleged breakup and subsequent rebound relationships, the porcine star’s promiscuity, Fozzie Bear’s relationship with a woman, and even included an ad with a Kermit clad in only a scarf that brags, “Finally, a network TV show with full frontal nudity.”
“The Muppets,” a 30-minute series, marks the 1970’s-era characters’ first regular television program in nearly 20 years, and will feel a lot like “30 Rock,” mockumentary-style with quick-zoom reaction shots and confessional cutaways, says the New York Times. But the more grown-up topics the show will dive into are what is irking the One Million Moms.
So the group has launched a petition to warn parents “The Muppets” was not the family-friendly program its 1970’s predecessor was.
“1MM (One Million Moms) suspects there are going to be a lot of shocked moms and dads when they discover that the family-friendly Muppets of the 1970s are no more. It appears that no subject is off limits,” the group says in the petition, in which it provides a phone number to call ABC to pressure the network to cancel the show. “The puppet characters loved by kids in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond are now weighing in on abortion and promiscuity,” it continues.
“ABC has ruined “The Muppets,” claim the One Million Moms. (That group was the one behind the boycott in 2012 of J.C. Penney JCP 0.11% when that retailer featured same-sex couples in its inserts.)
While it is true that there is a more adult feel to the show, if the promos are any indication, it could well be that ABC is in fact not aiming at children, but at Gen Xers and Baby Boomers who grew up loving the Muppets and want to relive a bit of their childhood in an updated manner once a week. And with their petition, which helpfully tells people what time and channel the show will air, the One Million Moms could well be inadvertently bringing publicity to a show ABC has a lot riding on.