New Sesame Street Character’s Father is in JailBy: Sean Patterson - June 19, 2013
Among other things, the children’s TV show Sesame Street is famous for addressing sensitive topics that touch many children’s lives, but that may not be addressed well by the adults in their lives. Topics such as death, AIDS, and nutrition have all been taken up by the show, which has won 143 Emmy Awards in its over 40 years on television. Last year, the show took on the topic of divorce with a 13-minute webisode.
Now Sesame Street is taking on the sensitive topic of parents being in jail. Like when divorce was addressed, the programming will be shown online as part of the Sesame Workshop’s Little Children, Big Challenges initiative, which attempts to provide comfort and resources to young children dealing with tough issues. the Incarceration “tool kit” includes tips, a storybook, and activities for both children and parents.
Of course, there is also the classic deconstruction of the topic using muppets. A blue-haired, green-nosed muppet named Alex is depicted as having his father in jail. The muppet is used to both educate children on how tough it can be for children with incarcerated parents, and to show those same children that they aren’t the only ones who have experienced it.