Kids show host Melanie Martinez has been fired by PBS because, years ago, she performed in some suggestive spoof ads about sexual abstinence. The spots were taken off the Internet by their creators years ago, but of course, you can never really erase anything off the Internet:
I guess the parents who complained are worried that their toddlers will fire up their computers and search for their favorite kiddie show host on Youtube, and win up asking for a new toy just like hers for Christmas. Or, worse, ask what the pink thing is for.
(As a parent, I find that 99% of my urge to restrict my kids' exposure to sexual content is the fear of having to explain what he's doing to her.)
Our society is such a bizarre combination of out there and prudish. You can win an Oscar for your movie about two gay guys up on the mountain, but Peter Jackson, er, Ang Lee better not ever try to make a G-rated movie, because (biology to the contrary) sex does not exist in the same universe as kids. You have to decide ten years ago whether you're going to do edgy stuff, because somewhere down the road the prudes will get you fired off your kiddie show because of something you did in an entirely different context.
If you think PBS's behaviour is as clueless as I think it is, there's a petition to sign over at Technical Virgin.
And while we're at it ... what did Paul Reuben's behavior in a movie theater in Florida have to do with his ability to host Pee Wee's Playhouse?
Oh my god. As the mother of a young woman who just got the news that the new HPV shot will cost $600 because insurance companies don't know if they want to cover it I say bring on the high tech stuff. It will keep the youngun's from getting cancer and won't cost $600. Life would be a lot easier if kids didn't get genitals until they were 21. Who wants to know thier babies will grow up to do cowboys?
I just can't work up a fit of picque about this. It's a free market - the Sprout network is something that parents pay for through digital cable, at least in my neck of the woods, so it doesn't even really count as "public television" content anyway. The Internet has been around for a long enough time that anyone should realize anything they write, say or do is public access. Aesthetically and comically speaking, the spoof was pretty lame -- maybe the PBS execs were simply appalled at the lack of humor, editing craftsmanship and abundance of amatuer acting in the video short? More likely, however, is that the PBS execs decided they didn't want their main nighttime host of their digital cable spin-off associated with this. It's their call. For those trying to work up a "movement" petition outrage, get over it. Funny thing, but I don't anyone ever contracted a disease or got knocked up because of abstinence. I guess in a free market economy she should have given her participation in the spoof some thought before she participated in the spoof. Too bad for her, but given that she's a charming and bright young woman, I'm sure she'll find work elsewhere soon, especially with the publicity generated by this.