Big Bird, Elmo and other Sesame Street stars have been banned from attending the US Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), organizers announced this week.
The popular TV dolls were told they were not welcome to the Florida event in 2022, following a tweet from Big Bird claiming to have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Various U.S. conservative politicians then raged against the children’s TV show, in which Texas Senator Ted Cruz labeled the tweet “government propaganda.”
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President Joe Biden then weighed in on the argument, tweeting “Good on you, @BigBird. Getting vaccinated is the best way to keep your entire neighborhood safe. “
CPAC organizers have now taken up the online furore and now decided to exclude Big Bird and his colleagues Ernie, Bert and Elmo from the largest Republican conference.
Big Bird has been helping to spread public health messages for decades, and in 1972 the phrase, “Don’t wait, vaccines!”
The ongoing altercation between Sesame Street and the Republican right took a different turn this week when CPAC President Matt Schlapp aimed at the children’s show to introduce the first Korean-American muppet, Ji-Young.
In an angry tweet, he questioned Bert and Ernie’s race before declaring the American TV channel PBS – home of Sesame Street – “crazy” and calling for an end to funding.
Bert and Ernie have previously been involved in political disputes over a rejected homosexual relationship, and the Webby Award-winning parody site ‘Bert is Evil’, which depicts Bert embroidering himself with infamous villains such as Adolf Hitler, Robert Mugabe and Osama bin Laden,
There has been no official comment from CPAC organizers on whether Oscar the Grouch or The Count will be allowed to attend.
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