Conservatives Are Fuming After Billy Porter Wears His Iconic Tuxedo Gown For 'Sesame Street' Appearance
Conservative—who accuse others fighting bigotry and oppression of being "snowflakes"—found something new to be offended about.
So what is it this time?
After Billy Porter dropped by Sesame Street in his iconic Christian Siriano tuxedo gown from last year's Academy Awards...
Just when I thought I was done with 2019, Pose star @theebillyporter showed up to the #Oscars in a Tuxedo-Gown and… https://t.co/l8ROy8QDxZ— Ryan Knight 🏳️🌈 🗽 (@Ryan Knight 🏳️🌈 🗽)1551047391.0
Billy Porter challenges gender norms at the Oscars in a Christian Siriano tuxedo gown. (2019) https://t.co/VxUcSv9T5P— chloe (@chloe)1576455602.0
...Sesame Street tweeted about it, saying:
"an iconic day with an iconic person."
The post contained pictures of Porter posing with Elmo, one of the show's Penguins, as well as sitting in front of the familiar 123 Sesame Street brownstone in his full gown.
An iconic day with an iconic person ♥️ Thanks for visiting Sesame Street, @theebillyporter! #Season51 https://t.co/Yre2PO4a0p— Sesame Street (@Sesame Street)1580391738.0
That gown was iconic 365 days ago and now it's back with a vengeance.
Unfortunately, several Twitter conservatives were unable to handle the moment, making hateful and/or rude comments about Sesame Street and Porter.
@sesamestreet @theebillyporter @elmo There is a reason why Sesame Street was hemorrhaging money and had to go to HBO.— BearsBasketballMom (@BearsBasketballMom)1580417822.0
@sesamestreet @theebillyporter @elmo I don't allow my children to watch shows that intentionally confuse them until… https://t.co/d8atCRKQMa— TaurusBrit (@TaurusBrit)1580425301.0
@sesamestreet @theebillyporter @elmo This is why people teach their children at a young age not to believe everythi… https://t.co/LiLrqqvSCe— rightwingketodad (@rightwingketodad)1580446731.0
@sesamestreet @theebillyporter @elmo This absolutely shameful and this should be off limits to children!!! Never e… https://t.co/VygqVEtGgZ— DizFam (@DizFam)1580408728.0
@sesamestreet @theebillyporter @elmo This, to me, is an outrage.— Velma Massenburg (@Velma Massenburg)1580434042.0
Porter likely saw this upset coming, as he'd already shut down Donald Trump Jr.'s use of his Grammy's outfit (which was also an iconic moment) on the same day he was tagged in Sesame Street's tweet.
Politician’s kids are off limits... even 50 year old Corrupt Hunter Biden. Me: https://t.co/9fuEGbT16v— Donald Trump Jr. (@Donald Trump Jr.)1580174249.0
When our corrupt President’s (@realDonaldTrump) corrupt son (@DonaldJTrumpJr) uses your fierce #Grammy look to try… https://t.co/kn7npEfMFj— Billy Porter (@Billy Porter)1580245851.0
Those who were not in the least intimidated by Porter's lewks complimented his gumption and Sesame Street's inclusivity.
@sesamestreet @theebillyporter @elmo “Grrr, gay man in dress, I angry” can sum up this comment section well. Screw… https://t.co/lbdvt1xF1g— Alex (Twitch: Levy) (Open for commissions!) (@Alex (Twitch: Levy) (Open for commissions!))1580410988.0
@sesamestreet @theebillyporter @elmo Yasssss! I can't wait. I brought water for these salty haters because they are… https://t.co/LotEarYUOL— Tonjaleigha (@Tonjaleigha)1580415244.0
@sesamestreet @theebillyporter @elmo A wonderful move for inclusiveness! My younger brother was on Sesame Street wh… https://t.co/0qNDIpJyh3— Evan Laurence (@Evan Laurence)1580491147.0
@sesamestreet @theebillyporter @elmo omg we love to see it. billy you are such an icon 💞— JIN HIT 🌈 (@JIN HIT 🌈)1580450839.0
@sesamestreet @theebillyporter @elmo Thank you SO MUCH @sesamestreet - you are ALL beautiful beings, shaping a wond… https://t.co/Ivdjishdwp— Langdon (@Langdon)1580488891.0
Porter says he, himself, was "tickled" to be in the company of such a legend as THE Elmo.
Y’all, talk about iconic... I was tickled to meet @elmo and the gang at @sesamestreet! https://t.co/WuEpjRkRi8— Billy Porter (@Billy Porter)1580410209.0
Don't let the haters get you down, Billy.
Porter's appearance currently has no airdate set, but once it does, we are sure we will be fans.
As a long-standing icon for children's home education and entertainment, Sesame Street has made important strides for inclusion and destigmatizing difficult topics.
From wheelchair-bound to autistic, Sesame Street's writers have carefully crafted a series of characters that celebrate diversity, and their latest addition to the family is no exception.
Meet Karli, who lives in a foster care home with her "for-now parents," Clem and Dalia.
In an episode showing Elmo and Karli playing together and coloring, they discuss the difficult subject of Karli living in foster care.
Karli explains to Elmo that she is separated from her parents, who still love her but can't can't take care of her.
When Elmo expresses concern, she explains how she is living with her "for-now parents," who are teaching her how her heart can grow as more loved ones come into her life.
A Heart Can Grow www.youtube.com
In this truly touching video, Karli walks us through the wide array of things and people that can help the heart to grow.
The distinction offered in this short video is so beautiful and layered. There are multiple messages parents could use to start a conversation with their children, to teach them about foster and adoptive families, or to support foster or adoptive children of their own.
In the first heart, Karli explains, is a picture of her with her mom. Her mother is at her heart's core, and we are lead to think that she at one time filled Karli's entire heart, before she knew she could make room for more.
In the second heart, which is larger and surrounds the first, Karli depicts herself sharing a hug with her foster "for-now" parents, who embraced her, took her into their home, and began to teach her about accepting love from other places.
Then, in the next several hearts, we see Karli's confidence and excitement grow as she talks about making new friends, doing new activities with them and having pizza nights, and creating new, irreplaceable memories.
We can see her figuring out how each of the new people in her life, and each of her new likes, from the playground to pizza, are helping her heart to grow, and helping her grow into the person her future self will be.
This is such an important episode, because whether we're talking about foster care, or grieving the loss of a family member, or moving to a new place, there will always be new people, activities, and joys that will fill those empty spaces and help the heart to grow.
Much of what Karli points out relates to personal preference, self-fulfillment, and security, which are often just as important in creating happy, healthy selves as the people who are there to witness it.
Already viewers are taking notice and embracing Sesame Street's newest member of the family, and what this could mean for understanding foster care.
@CNN I really like that they are introducing this concept, as a child advocate it makes me super happy. 🤗— Jaspreet Singh (@Jaspreet Singh)1558385262.0
@CNN Such a scary and often times heartbreaking time for children. I am glad to see them incorporate this into the… https://t.co/xWw6aiRV4v— Justin Miles (@Justin Miles)1558384950.0
@CNN This is great. Kids navigating the foster system often feel lost or unwanted and it’s nice to see Sesame Stree… https://t.co/E9aQi5Z1io— CEO of the Gays (@CEO of the Gays)1558385062.0
@CNN It's sad that this is a thing that some child might need, but it's a good thing that Sesame Street is trying to help all children— Kajet Seifert (@Kajet Seifert)1558403831.0
@sesamestreet @SesameCommunity I wish our orphanages & all foster parents would get to know Karli & this initiative… https://t.co/eAScl6Fewd— Jeremiah Liles (@Jeremiah Liles)1558387734.0
@sesamestreet @SesameCommunity Im not crying you’re crying! 😭❤️— Aurea (@Aurea)1558381607.0
No matter the family's situation, it's always important to introduce these various models of family units to every child, whether they are of a biological home or otherwise.
These conversations will grow children who are empathetic and socially aware.
It's great to see Sesame Street embracing another character on the diversity spectrum, and we can't wait to see who they invite to the family next.
Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?
Why, yes. Yes, I can.
The acclaimed children's educational program turns 50 this year. That's five decades of being asked how you get to Sesame Street. It's a question that now has an official answer.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary, the city of New York has named an intersection after the magical street.
Even Waze can tell you how to get there now!
In honor of our 50th anniversary the City of New York named 63rd Street & Broadway “Sesame Street” today! Thank you… https://t.co/lpq39YyXb9— Sesame Street (@Sesame Street)1556731344.0
Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street? I can. We’re at the renamimg of W 63rd & Broadway. @NBCNewYork https://t.co/FtUIjtNCTQ— Erica Byfield (@Erica Byfield)1556719934.0
Everyone got it: Sesame Street is at Broadway and w 63rd. Now can you all please stop asking me directions how to g… https://t.co/89d8Patc5E— Rob (@Rob)1556720318.0
Continuing their year long celebration, Sesame Street is being honored with having an intersection named for the titular street.
While you might get more of a Brooklyn or Queens vibe from the depiction on the show, apparently Sesame Street is in Manhattan. The intersection chosen for this honor is West 63rd Street and Broadway, fittingly next to the Sesame Street workshop.
In 2009, for the show's 40th anniversary, this same intersection was temporarily named Sesame Street. Now, the change is permanent, allowing an answer to the catchy question.
Sesame Street has meant a lot to people, having a great influence on children in their developmental phase. There are many who see Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch as powerful icons as Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny.
So it's understandable if you cry a little bit.
Big Bird is here!!!!! https://t.co/dMv8ajKUKZ— lisie (@lisie)1556720730.0
Pretty impressive showing of @sesamestreet fans as the corner of Broadway and W 63rd Street is set to be co-named S… https://t.co/CeOM264GY2— Alyssa Paolicelli (@Alyssa Paolicelli)1556718963.0
WARNING BIG BIRD IS WEARING A TIE TODAY FOR THE RENAMING OF WEST 63RD STREET CANT SAY I DIDNT WARN YOU— Yael (@Yael)1556721076.0
For the unveiling of the name, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal were joined by Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo and many other monsters to commemorate the event.
Mayor de Blasio said,
"Fifty years of making people's lives better. Fifty years of having people believe in themselves."
The intersection was crowded with hundreds of fans excited to see this legendary show given this recognition.
They were also excited to see their favorite muppets live, and up close.
Grover and Big Bird are at renaming of W. 63rd St. to Sesame Street. Next up...@NYCMayor https://t.co/4De8KjJ5sC— Julia Marsh (@Julia Marsh)1556719660.0
The mayor just said he’s looking forward to meeting his long-lost relative, Big Bird.— katie honan (@katie honan)1556720292.0
.@Elmo and @Grover are waaaaay up at the top of the @EmpireStateBldg looking for Sesame Street! Join us today as we… https://t.co/l5d1kRofpz— Sesame Street (@Sesame Street)1556712000.0
Thank you @sesamestreet for leading by example, & showing all of us that a better world is possible through simple… https://t.co/VgscbsgmdV— Helen Rosenthal (@Helen Rosenthal)1556728314.0
This event is part of a year long celebration for the children's show. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who's been a guest on the show many times over the years, wrote a piece for the Hollywood reporter about his experience with the show.
That's pretty impressive, since his first guest spot was during it's inaugural year in 1969.
Cookie Monster surprised the internet and hosted a Reddit AMA or Ask Me Anything. While you might think the internet can ruin anything, the AMA was surprisingly wholesome.
Additionally, there is a musical movie in the works, with Anne Hathaway attached to star.
What else will this anniversary year have in store for our muppet friends?
Sesame Street thinks it has the answer to all of the problems depicted on HBO's Game of Thrones.
The wildly popular series about seven strained families vying for the Iron Throne returned last week and the first episode, titled "Winterfell," reminded us that none of these people get along.
A tense negotiation between Tyrion and Cersei Lannister is sidelined once Elmo shows up to preach about this little thing called "respect." Yes, it seems the Lannisters never even listened to that famous Aretha Franklin song.
"Elmo thinks that you two need to respect each other," says Elmo, who adds:
"When Elmo has a problem with his friends like Abby or Cookie Monster, Elmo doesn't get upset. Elmo listens and learns from what they have to say."
"If we stop fighting and work together, we can be stronger," realizes Tyrion, and before you know it, Tyrion and his sister are setting aside their differences faster than you can say Valar morghulis.
Sesame Street: Respect is Coming www.youtube.com
Who knew Elmo could succeed at what (now) eight seasons of television were utterly unable to achieve?
Seriously: Who knew?!
@sesamestreet does it again! Thank you and love you #SesameStreet! #ThursdayThoughts #Respect #GameofThrones https://t.co/y4sMGDs5nA— LadyBuggles (@LadyBuggles)1555608273.0
Which parents are letting their 5 year olds watch Game of Thrones and creating this very niche market for a Sesame… https://t.co/QPwnuD66V9— Mehek Seyid (@Mehek Seyid)1555647237.0
Avengers was the most ambitious crossover ever. #GameofThrones and @sesamestreet- “Hold our beers”… https://t.co/80QyxfArGc— 😈Willian🦹♂️Higgins🖤 (@😈Willian🦹♂️Higgins🖤)1555647386.0
Marvel: Infinity War is the most ambitious crossover event in history. HBO and Sesame Street: This is the most ambi… https://t.co/hEbGyjUhs6— Clara Castaño Ruiz (@Clara Castaño Ruiz)1555610994.0
DOES THIS MEAN SESAME STREET IN IN WESTROS ??? LIKE YALL COOKIE MONSTER MIGHT KILL THE NIGHT KING #gameofthrones https://t.co/hSgMe5MjHO— Tanner McMackin (@Tanner McMackin)1555632961.0
Apparently, when you play a #GameOfThrones you spell or you count. Not sure we needed a crossover between… https://t.co/XqkMPwoOAx— HyattWard (@HyattWard)1555630317.0
Thanks, Sesame Street. We'll just defer to you next time.
The biggest name in children's television almost since its inception is turning the big 5-0 this year. Sesame Street has been on the air since November 10, 1969.
As part of the yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary, the company has announced a feature film in production, with Anne Hathaway set to star.
Rumors of her possible attachment to the project had been speculated, and even had her renegotiating her terms with other films, but this is the first official confirmation of her involvement.
Sesame Street has had two theatrical releases before. In 1985, we had Follow that Bird, and 1999 saw the release of Elmo in Grouchland. Much like those films, Jonathan Krisel the writer and director for the movie has also confirmed this will be a musical, though this will be about getting lost in New York City.
Makes sense, right?
@mashable Cause when I think I’m lost, I think Big Bird, Oscar and Anne Hathaway.— oxXVirtueXxo (@oxXVirtueXxo)1549478684.0
@mashable Hmmm, now getting lost with Anne Hathaway does not sound like the worst thing that could happen to you in New York...— stonecreek (@stonecreek)1549474891.0
Krisel, who has worked in multiple roles on Baskets, Saturday Night Live, and Portlandia, gave out some details about the project. He said the film is "going to be big" and that Sesame Street has an enduring charm.
Krisel said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
"Sesame Street never sold out. Yes, it's on diapers and it's a brand, but it never got cheesy.
"For 50 years, it has never lost its sheen. That's why it's daunting. You don't want to be the guy who does that to Sesame Street,"
Hold on, did we say it's turning 50? 50?!
Wow!! A fave childhood TV show turns 50, the same year I will. Feel old. "'Sesame Street' Turns 50: Go Behind The… https://t.co/AosopheUJ5— Plan B Counselling (@Plan B Counselling)1549531383.0
Why isn’t the cast of Sesame Street hosting the Oscars? They’re celebrating 50 years this year you’d think someone… https://t.co/WqMLcH7m8p— no one you follow (@no one you follow)1549515637.0
@ThomasRhett @sesamestreet Here’s to 50 more! 🥳 https://t.co/ur80zuKl38— 🦋 Toni (@🦋 Toni)1549480072.0
Sesame Street isn't just focused on the movie though. The company has other ways to celebrate out right now.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote about his long relationship with Sesame Street. Abdul-Jabbar was a guest on the show in its very first year, and has reappeared multiple times.
He jokes that his friendship with Big Bird is one of the best because,
"It's nice to have someone I can look straight in the eyes without bending my neck."
And seemingly out of nowhere, Cookie Monster did a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) that was incredibly wholesome.
"What's the best way to get crumbs out of your fur?" - SQUIRTISPEE
"Me usually have them as snackie for later." - Me_CookieMonster
"If you were a cookie what kind of cookie would you be?" - kingshmiley
"Chocolate chippie! You know what they say...you are what you eat!" - Me_CookieMonster
"Do you like your cookies crispy or soft?" - Dookman
"Yes." - Me_CookieMonster
"Is there anything you won't eat? I mean, I've seen you eat a typewriter before..." - iclewis09
"Me stay away from anything in Oscar's trashcan. Otherwise me not picky." - Me_CookieMonster
"What's the hot gossip on Sesame Street these days?" - dcbluestar
"We celebrating our street's 50th birthday this year! Me can't wait to celebrate with you! Maybe even share cookie with you.
Also, Oscar still a grouch..." - Me_CookieMonster
As the year goes on, Sesame Street is sure to have more surprises in store. The nonprofit has been a huge part of many peoples lives, we can only hope it continues for another 50 years.