is a game and tech journalist from the US. Aside from writing for RT, he hosts the podcast Micah and The Hatman, and is an independent comic book writer. Follow Micah at @MindofMicahC
One of the most popular children’s programs of all time can only be viewed via an adult’s account on Disney+ thanks to ‘harmful treatment of people and cultures.’ Does everything need a trigger warning now?
Quite a few people my age will remember The Muppets the instant that you mention them. Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and the rest of the gang were part of our childhoods and could always be relied upon for a laugh. With Disney having the rights, you would expect that this would be a pretty popular pick to recommend to kids on their new streaming service. After all, it has memorable characters that are easy to follow and a sense of humor that can be enjoyed by both young and old. Well, not according to the people at Disney+.
“This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now,” reads the disclaimer. Now what on Earth is so offensive about The Muppets? The Swedish Chef? Characters making jokes about one another? Animal’s drum playing? The disclaimer is by no means specific, and the lack of specificity is much more offensive than anything in the show. What exactly is the problem here? This is The Muppets not Avenue Q.
I can’t even watch classic muppets with my nipper, without a stupid warning popping up these days pic.twitter.com/xOFKTBNlfv
— kip ellis 👍 (@kipellis) February 19, 2021
Looking at the situation, I don’t think that the problem is with the show at all. It is still fun, and even though I don’t have children of my own, I would let my nieces and nephews watch it in a heartbeat knowing that my sisters watched it with me so many years ago – and none of us have been traumatised. The goofy humor of The Muppets makes it a classic. The issue is that modern culture is demanding that we look at these shows again under a microscope because somebody somewhere might get offended.
I place emphasis on the word “might” for a reason. Right now, entertainment companies like Disney are quaking in their boots over the potential of people getting offended. They are ridiculously worried about such things, and if the Gina Carano situation has taught us anything, they are more than willing to kowtow to those who are offended. Here’s my question: Why? Why should we sacrifice our laughter because somebody doesn’t get the joke? Why should we sacrifice our laughter for the sake of some pearl-clutching offense seeker?
The answer is simple. We should not. If the woke mob wants to be a bunch of humorless jerks, let them. Let them go be miserable while the rest of us enjoy the show. Entertainment is for those who desire to be entertained. We should not allow ourselves as a society to bend the knee to the types of people who want to ruin a good time, and we certainly should not try to preempt their offense either. The woke mob are not our rulers and only have as much power as we choose to give them.
In the future, Disney should not worry so much about the people who simply want to control them. They should worry about those of us who are actually going to buy what they are selling. If you spend all of your time worrying about the desires of people who don’t want what you have to offer, you simply chase ghosts while everyone else is left behind. The more people that do this, the more society becomes dominated by wimps who don’t know when to shut up, so they make everyone else shut up first.