Monday, March 1, 2010

Stupid Thing of Week: Banned puppet cleavage

Posted By on Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 1:38 PM

And you thought the “Are Bert and Ernie of Sesame Street gay?” controversy a few years ago was stupid? Now, people in that center of religious-right angst, Colorado Springs, are going nuts over puppet cleavage. A promotional bus-stop poster for Avenue Q, a Tony-winning musical about puppets and human neighbors trying to make it in New York City, was deemed too risqué for Colorado Springs, and was eventually banned by a billboard executive, because it showed, yes, puppet cleavage. Avenue Q, although it’s inspired by the puppetry style of The Muppets and Sesame Street, is clearly advertised and labeled as being for adults — I mean, two of the most popular songs in the show are  “It Sucks To Be Me” and “The Internet Is For Porn.”

In 2008, a touring production of the show came to Charlotte (“Home of the Embarrassing Angels In America Fiasco”) without any problems. But Colorado Springs is home to far-right, moralistic groups like Focus On The Family and is a base for various evangelical movement organizations — fine, upstanding, defenders of morality such as the scandal-ridden pastor Ted Haggard.

Back in the “Bert and Ernie are gay” days, the Sesame Street folks answered critics by “explaining” that Bert and Ernie are puppets made of cloth, thus they aren’t real, living beings, and so have no sexual preferences at all. Someone should send a similar, head-clearing message to the moral crusaders of Colorado Springs: Those aren't real boobs, people. Oh, and the poster they’ve replaced the cleavage shot with? It’s of a puppet named Rod — a closeted gay Republican who is in love with his best friend. Classic.

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