The toxic new Puritanism sweeping through U.S. and European culture – a rigid condemnation of anything white and/or First World that does not apologize and grovel for forgiveness – has now swept up Kermit, Miss Piggy, Grover and Big Bird.
The Muppet Show must now bear warnings about “offensive content” and can only be seen on Disney’s paid streaming service with an adult account, at least in the U.K., according to DailyMail.com.
The move was revealed when Disney made five series available on its service on Feb. 19. Viewers are greeted with the message: “This programme includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.
“Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together,” the company preaches.
The warning apparently applies to Muppet characters that the company now deems to be stereotypes of Native Americans, Middle Easterners and East Asians. In another scandalous episode, singer Johnny Cash performs on a stage decorated with the Confederate flag.
Some episodes of the humorous and creative hit show, first broadcast 45 years ago, have vanished entirely from British screens. They include a 1979 show in which comedian Spike Milligan and the puppets pay tribute to the 108 nations where the show was broadcast.
It depicted national stereotypes and made fleeting use of a gesture that some critics linked to Nazism. It is still accessible for American users of Disney Plus.
Fans of the series created by puppeteer Jim Henson are reacting to the censorship, with one tweeting: “It’s so frustrating to live in a ‘free’ country where corporations can decide what you can and can’t watch.”