Mixing Alcohol and The Muppets

Written by PTC | Published December 10, 2015

JANICE Drink up, kiddies! At least that’s the message being sent by some beloved children’s characters. Again. ABC’s The Muppets continues to barrage the children watching the show with messages that drinking alcohol is perfectly acceptable. In this week’s Dec. 8th episode, Muppet characters are sitting at tables together at Rowlf’s Tavern. Two Muppets are shown holding alcoholic beverages. On the table in front of Dr. Teeth and Gonzo there is a mug full of beer and a drink with a lemon wedge on the rim of the glass. Rowlf pours a glass of whiskey for Sam the Eagle. If you’re tempted to think that this doesn’t matter, consider that Nielsen data indicates that over one million children ages 2-11 have routinely watched The Muppets each week. Unfortunately, the Muppets’ continued alcohol use lines up with our own analysis we conducted of the first four episodes of The Muppets, which found that 55 percent of all the adult-themed content consisted of alcohol or drug references and depictions. 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. This kind of content just isn’t acceptable on a TV show that naturally attracts children, and on a show that theoretically should be safe for families to watch together. We don’t know about you, but to us, mixing Muppets with alcohol just isn’t family-friendly entertainment. Now, The Muppets Executive Producer Bob Kushell recently left and ABC promised a new direction for the show in forthcoming episodes. We aren’t sure of what the “new direction” will look like, but we certainly hope that the beloved children’s characters will change course to become a show that families can safely watch together in the new year.
Contact the following companies to let them know that their sponsorship dollars shouldn’t go towards a children’s show that routinely promotes alcohol use: Capital One: Steven.Tulip@capitalone.com Old Navy: Jill_Stanton@Gap.com

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