Sesame Street will soon feature a brand-new Muppet on the children’s show that, for nearly 50 years, has been geared toward helping children learn to read, understand math, and be kind to others. Some people are not too happy with the news, though.
EW.com introduced the new character on Thursday, April 7.
“Meet Zari, Sesame Workshop’s first Afghan Muppet. Zari, a 6-year-old girl who’s “curious and eager” and whose name means “shimmering,” will be featured on season 5 of Afghanistan’s Baghch-e-Simsim, the local co-production of Sesame Street and one of the country’s most popular children’s television shows.
The series, which includes segments on tradition and culture, will highlight Zari in three formats: Zari Exercises, which encourages physical health and well being; Zari Says ‘Salaam,’ which covers the greeting ‘asalaam alaikum’ and Afghan national identity; and Zari Interviews a Doctor, in which she talks to a pediatrician and learns about taking care of herself.”
Predictably, right-wing heads exploded as soon as their beloved Breitbart reported the news.
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 8, 2016
— AM (@ArRuple) April 8, 2016
OMFG – no way in hell I will let my child watch this shit. Get all liberals out of TV they are poisonous to children https://t.co/QgH2DbBFYN
— MSM IS CORRUPT (@CorruptMsm) April 8, 2016
— Suzanne Bird (@pearlskylar1) April 8, 2016
— Jim Hanson (@Uncle_Jimbo) April 8, 2016
Does this mean you are going to teach ‘girls empowerment’ to ISIS and the Taliban? https://t.co/tpKUNGTxOW
— LucidHurricane™ (@_LucidHurricane) April 8, 2016
A feminist. In a hijab. From Afghanistan. On Sesame Street.
My irony sensors have gone into overload. https://t.co/pOn5dZN1e6
— Skeptic Perspective (@perskeptive) April 8, 2016
Of course, all of this ignores many facts, but that’s never been the right-wingers strong suit. Feminism does exist in Muslim culture, as many Afghani feminist heroes have proven over the years.
They also ignore the same issues in our own country, where one in five women and one in 33 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. They don’t see ours as a patriarchal culture despite the fact that “nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States,” and laws to protect those victims are sorely lacking.
It’s easier to believe that the threat comes from the outside and to attack an innocent Muppet.
Featured image via EW.com