One Million Moms, a conservative group dedicated to promoting family-friendly programming, has launched a petition calling on ABC to cancel The Muppets series, arguing that the show's edgy new content has ruined the beloved program, making it unsuitable for children.
The Muppets, a half-hour series that debuts on Sept. 22, marks the first time Kermit the Frog and crew will return to television since 1996. Unlike the original series, which ran from 1976 to 1981, the new Muppets show focuses on more "adult content" and will reportedly cover a range of topics from sex to drugs to "interspecies relationships."
"It is not the show it once was," says a petition created by One Million Moms, which includes a phone number to call ABC to pressure the network to cancel the show. "ABC has ruined The Muppets. How many parents want to explain the punchline of sexually charged jokes to young children?"
The petition continues, "1MM 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. It appears that no subject is off limits. The new show is aimed at a mature, modern audience and addresses subjects not suitable for family viewing."
The Christian activist group laments that the "puppet characters loved by kids in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond are now weighing in on abortion and promiscuity."
"Many parents unknowingly will let their children watch an episode only to find out its perverted nature too late, unless they are alerted ahead of time," 1MM cautions. "Parents will have to explain to confused children that the program they once were allowed to watch is no longer a nice show. This would have been completely unnecessary if ABC had made the program follow its original family-friendly design."
Evangelist Franklin Graham has also slammed the new Muppets series and applauded One Million Moms for its efforts, arguing that the "whole show should be off limits."
"Hollywood seems to be in a frenzy to see what new moral low they can reach in their programming. Their agenda is to promote sin to a younger and younger audience," he wrote in a Facebook update on Tuesday.
"I applaud the group One Million Moms for speaking out against this and urging parents to call on ABC to take it off the air. The Bible says, 'Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.' That goes for Kermit the Frog as well!"