Disney Says Original Muppets Aren’t for Kids; But Muppets on ABC with Drug Use and Sexual References Were Appropriate

Written by PTC | Published February 24, 2021

LOS ANGELES (February 24, 2021) – On the heels of Disney’s decision to limit The Muppets to adult viewers on its streaming platform, the Parents Television Council is calling on Disney to more consistently apply standards for children.

“Disney has decided that the original series, The Muppets, is unsafe for children to watch, but its concern needs to extend to all of its content. When Disney revived The Muppets franchise on ABC, it rated it as appropriate for children but the series included a shocking amount of drug and alcohol depictions, sexual references, and sexual innuendo that would have been unheard of in the original series and just as inappropriate for children,” said Melissa Henson, program director, Parents Television Council.

“In fact, our research of ABC’s The Muppets in 2015 found that viewers (including children) were exposed to adult-themed content every 3 minutes and 38 seconds during the first four episodes. The iconic stars of the show, Kermit and Miss Piggy, delivered nearly half of all sexual innuendos and references on show. Fifty-five percent of all the adult-themed content consisted of alcohol or drug references and depictions.

“Disney needs to drop the double standard, and it needs to be consistent if its concerns about what constitutes appropriate content for children to watch are to be taken seriously,” Henson said.

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