ABC’s The Muppets Exposes Kids to Adult-Themed Content
Written by PTC | Published October 20, 2015
New PTC research shows that over 4 million children aged 2-11 who watched were exposed to adult-themed content every 3 minutes during the first four episodes of ABC’s The Muppets.
Nielsen data indicates that over one million children ages 2-11 have watched The Muppets each week. And of the children who are watching, the ratio of young children ages 2-11 is more than twice that of older children ages 12-17.
Contrast that fact with The Muppets series producer Bob Kushell’s recent comments: “We know our audience is going to be families watching, adults watching with their children. So we’re not pitching stories or thinking of stories that are like Norman Lear stories from the 1970s.”
The iconic stars of the show, Kermit and Miss Piggy, have delivered nearly half of all sexual innuendos and references on the show. Additionally, one bar scene in the 4th episode was long enough to consume almost one-quarter of the show’s screen time, during which Muppet characters were shown drinking and becoming drunk from beer, wine, and hard liquor.
“Kermit and Miss Piggy, please meet Joe Camel. It is a tragedy that one of the most iconic children’s television shows in history, The Muppets, would be so filled with adult content – sexual innuendoes, sexual references, drugs and alcohol, to be exact – that it would become too toxic for children. Our research shows that The Muppets isn’t a show for kids, yet it was supposedly created for families to watch together. Perhaps that’s why ratings for the show have continued to sink every week,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
“It’s hard to imagine another primetime TV show that, in theory, should be safer for parents and children to watch together than The Muppets. But you have Miss Piggy talking about having plastic surgery on her breasts and buttocks, Kermit talking about ‘cross-promoting’ with a female character, and a variety of characters drinking at a bar. The disconnect Hollywood has from the rest of America over a definition of ‘family programming’ is astounding.”
“Make no mistake, children are inherently attracted to the Muppets, and over a million young children are watching the program each week. No matter how ‘edgy’ ABC or the show’s producers want to make The Muppets, kids still reasonably believe the show is for them. We urge the network and everyone involved with this program to re-think the dangerous direction of this program. And in the meantime, we urge parents to be warned about letting their children watch The Muppets.”