NEW YORK — One episode in and there’s already a group really upset about ABC’s “The Muppets.” The conservative Christian group One Million Moms released a statement on their website, blasting the series as “perverted.”
The group claims “The Muppets” is “not what Jim Henson imagined and created. The new show is aimed at a mature, modern audience and addresses subjects not suitable for family viewing.” They add, “The mature version of ‘The Muppets’ will cover a range of topics from sex to drugs.”
Of course, what One Million Moms didn’t do was a cursory search of Muppet history. While many know the Muppets from “Sesame Street” and “The Muppet Show” — the latter of which did touch on adult issues from time to time — the Henson creations have a long and sometimes dark history.
Case in point, Henson produced a series of commercials for Wilkins Coffee in the 1960s that included levels of violence that seem extreme for advertisements, even by 2015 standards.
In one particular commercial, a pistol is held to a Muppets head and fired. In another, an early version of Kermit the Frog — voiced by Henson — blows up another Muppet with explosives.
Additionally, the early days of the Muppets saw Rowlf the Dog making regular appearance on “The Jimmy Dean Show,” a late night talk show, as Dean’s sidekick.
While “The Muppets” may not be as clean as “Sesame Street,” it’s a modern network sitcom in the vein of “30 Rock” and pretty tame compared to most everything else you’ll find on network TV.
What’s more, as One Million Moms points out themselves in their statement, even Kermit the Frog called the new series “sort of an adult Muppet show.”