The Muppets returned to prime time Tuesday, but not everyone is excited about the adult-themed revival of Jim Henson’s famed creation. Pro-family advocacy group One Million Moms has launched a campaign to boycott the show.
One Million Moms “suspects there are going to be a lot of shocked moms and dads when they discover that the family-friendly Muppets of the 1970s are no more,” the group says in a petition on its website.
“ABC has ruined ‘The Muppets’ by introducing adult subjects to children,” adds 1MM. “How many parents want to explain the punchline of sexually charged jokes to young children?”
The group is urging parents to contact ABC about canceling the new series, which it calls “perverted.”
The updated Muppets series is filmed mockumentary-style, much like NBC hits 30 Rock and The Office, and is not the family-friendly variety show that original debuted in the 1970s.
Because of ABC’s new direction, 1MM says children expecting to see the original Muppets will likely be exposed to the show’s many adult themes.
“The mature version of ‘The Muppets’ will cover a range of topics from sex to drugs. Miss Piggy came out as a pro-choice feminist during an MSNBC interview. The puppet characters loved by kids in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond are now weighing in on abortion and promiscuity,” says the petition.
Watch a portion of Miss Piggy’s MSNBC spot below:
“ABC and Disney need to stick to entertaining families instead of pushing agendas,” the group’s original petition post stated. “ABC is deciding to be politically correct versus providing clean, family-friendly programming. Your company could easily revise the storyline of this program, which uses characters children have grown to love.
Early numbers for The Muppets’s Tuesday debut indicate the show averaged a 2.8 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 8.9 million viewers, according to Variety.
The Muppets will air on Tuesdays this fall on ABC at 8p.m. ET.