Disney just slapped the “offensive content” label on… The Muppet Show?
The Daily Mail reports that Disney has done more than put a warning label on the classic family TV show: It now takes an adult account just to watch it.
Now they’ve gone too far.
If I hadn’t canceled my Disney+ membership last week over the firing of Gina Carano from The Mandalorian, I’d cancel it today over this.
There’s a famous bit of confessional prose written by German pastor Martin Niemöller during the de-Nazification period after the war:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
When cancel culture comes for the Muppets, we must all speak out.
Not because we’re Muppets, but because Jim Henson and his crew imbued their marionette-puppet hybrids with a clever and zany sweetness rarely seen in living entertainers — and which today is more or less nonexistent.
You can see what I mean in this short clip from a Season 4 episode when Liza Minnelli guest-starred.
As far as I’m concerned, Minnelli performing a song and dance number to Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” alongside six-foot-tall dancing Muppets might be the greatest thing ever aired on broadcast television.
It works on so many levels, for both parents and kids, that we wonder if those three minutes might have helped inspire Pixar’s earliest and best movies.
Speaking of levels…
If you’re old enough, or just well-informed enough to know anything about Minnelli’s mother, Judy Garland, watch the intro and outro of that scene one more time. In those two short bits from a whimsical family show, you’ll see Minnelli display some of the pathos that drove her mother to drink, drugs, and an early death.
Your kids or grandkids would never notice it, and I sure didn’t when I fell in love with that episode 40 years ago. But Minnelli brought real depth to a song-and-dance number with giant dancing Muppets.
I want my kids to see that with the innocence that kids enjoy, and then I want them to see it again with grownup eyes, many years from now.
While Disney refuses to allow unaccompanied children to enjoy the virtues of The Muppet Show, former Disney child star Bella Thorne dished on the “difficult” burdens the company places on young actors.
Thorne told Fox News on Monday, “There are definitely a lot of pressures in the Disney eye to be so perfect and I think that’s where Disney in a sense goes wrong because they make their kids seem perfect.”
A few moments from The Muppet Show might offend some Woke types, so children must be protected from seeing it. Yet the very children that Disney hires to star in its own shows are given impossible expectations.
Or as Thorne said, “Little kids growing up don’t need to see perfect people. Kids need to see real. They need to see diversity, they need to see intriguing.”
Disney’s double standard would be laughable if it weren’t so heartbreaking.
If I were forced to explain the Muppets’ charm using the dreaded postmodern vernacular, I’d have to say it was “inclusive.”
Young, old, square, hippy, human, animal, monster… everybody got together on The Muppet Show and got along on The Muppet Show.
Yes, Muppets and humans alike got into all kinds of comic hijinks and made fun of one another in ways that might offend the snowiest of flakes. But at its core, Jim Henson’s creation was always gentle, always whimsical.
And maybe that’s why kids can’t have The Muppet Show any longer.
There’s just no room for whimsy in an era when everything must conform to the Gleichschaltung.
Cancel culture has laid down the first marker in erasing The Muppet Show, not because Johnny Cash once sang a country song draped in a Confederate flag or because some character wore a fancy Indian headdress.
Cancel culture has come for The Muppet Show because it genuinely embodies the friendly virtues of tolerance and inclusion at which the Left can only pretend.