Lifestyle & Belief

Sesame Street tackles divorce


Sesame Street characters Cookie Monster, Ernie (center) and Bert (behind) at the fifth anniversary of Hollywood theme park Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.


Yoshikazu Tsuno

Sesame Street tried to teach kids about divorce in a 1992 episode. The segment featured Snuffy crying because his dad was moving out of the family cave, Time reported. In test-screenings, pre-schoolers thought that Snuffy's parents didn't love him, and they cried too.  

The episode was scrapped. "We thought this was really revolutionary, and then it was just bad," a Sesame Street researcher told Time. 

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Now, Sesame Street is addressing divorce again for the first time since that disastrous 1992 attempt, Entertainment Weekly reported. This time, instead of sad Snuffy, it's calm and collected Abby Cadabby who teaches kids about it. Abby casually mentions to Big Bird that she has two different homes, leading him to ask a series of questions about her family life. 

Suggestion for a future groundbreaking Sesame Street episode: Bert and Ernie teach kids about gay marriage.