Sesame Workshop : Free Elmo from Left-Wing Politics
This petition is now closed.
CNN is using beloved Sesame Street character Elmo to push for more immigration from the Middle East.
In a Facebook Live panel discussion moderated by Clarissa Ward, Elmo appeared alongside David Miliband from the International Rescue Committee and Sherrie Westin from Sesame Workshop.
As a 501(c)3 organization, Sesame Workshop is not allowed to engage in political activity. This IRS rule applies to all tax-exempt 501(c)3 organizations.
Miliband pushed for the U.S. to admit more refugees.
While Elmo spoke in vague and positive terms about the people he met in Jordan, his image is still being used to promote a particular immigration agenda.
Sign this petition to tell Sesame Workshop that the Muppets should never be used for political gain.
To Sesame Workshop:
Elmo brings joy to children all over the world. Brightening the days of children, whether they're here in the States or displaced migrants abroad, is a worthy endeavor.
The problem arises when Elmo is used to push a political agenda here in the United States. The CNN panel was entirely pro-immigration, and Elmo's appearance with them makes him look pro-immigration, too. The panelists spoke as if all refugees are innocent children. Many of them are, but to use Elmo to put a false spin on a complex issue is misleading.
Sesame Workshop is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization. The IRS explicitly forbids nonprofits like these from engaging in "political campaign activity." In addition, PBS pays you (with taxpayer money) for the right to show past episodes of Sesame Street. Taxpayers should not be paying for Sesame Workshop to propagandize to us and to our children.
If you want to mobilize Elmo to speak out in favor of increased immigration from the Middle East, perhaps Big Bird should start teaching kids about the importance of vetting migrants to make sure radicals don't enter the country. Ernie could lobby for sanctuary cities while Bert starts building the border wall.
Does that sound absurd? We think so, too. The beauty of shows like Sesame Street is that they exist in a world of childlike innocence. We ask that you stop all political activity immediately.