Jim Henson Would Be Ashamed
By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher
Years ago, when I was the Director of the TV Dept. at the City University of New York, one of the professors was Jim Day, who years earlier co-founded the Children’s Television Workshop, which gave birth to Sesame Street and national prominence to the Muppets. Another close friend of mine, who’s still on our Board of References, is Bob Savage, the former chief operating officer of The Jim Henson Company. Of course, there was the late Jim Henson, who conceptualized the Muppets.
Henson, Savage and I grew up in a very pietistic wing of a particular religious splinter group, and Jim Day was an elder in his Baptist church. Everyone of us was concerned about children, and the whole reason for Sesame Street was to help children develop values and to be educated in basic kindergarten tasks.
None of these people, especially Jim Henson, would appreciate THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS because this spinoff from the Muppet universe is being used to foist upon susceptible people of all ages grotesque violence, sex and pornography. Jim Henson, Jim Day and Bob Savage were all concerned about building character. HAPPYTIME MURDERS would have disgusted them, and Jim Henson in particular would have been ashamed of his children producing such a vile movie.
While I was at City University, 60 professors united to develop the first media literacy course. Now, there are thousands of studies about the media’s influence. Ninety-nine percent of them show that the media influences children and adults to adopt scripts of behavior. Does anybody want any child (or any adult for that matter) to adopt the loathsome behavior on display in HAPPYTIME MURDERS? Children are attracted to puppets, and puppets have been used for teaching for hundreds of years.
THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS is a shameful exhibition of hate for puppets, children, adults, and everyone else in society. Jim Henson would be ashamed; his children should be ashamed; and, Melissa McCarthy and Joel McHale are probably too desensitized to know what the word “shame” means.
So, pray for anyone who sees this movie not to be corrosively corrupted, and please pray for everyone involved in the movie to turn from the dark side into the light of loving their neighbor as themselves.