Since it was announced last month that Pose star Billy Porter would appear on an episode of Sesame Street, conservatives have been on a tirade. Republicans even threatened to pull the show’s funding over it.
The most recent group to express their outrage is One Million Moms, a front for the SPLC-rated hate group American Family Association. Although the episode is for the show’s 51st season, which won’t air until this fall, One Million Moms is making noise about PBS “taking advantage of parental trust” now.
In a blog post, Director Monica Cole – believed to be the only ‘staff member’ for the group – wrote that PBS needs to “stick to entertaining and providing family friendly programming, instead of pushing an agenda,” claiming that Porter’s appearance is the opposite of that. Cole refers to Porter as a “drag queen activist wearing a gender-bender tuxedo gown,” describing his custom Christian Siriano-designed outfit from the 2019 Oscars which he wore during filming of the show.
Cole bizarrely goes on to describe the show’s use of a fire emoji in a social media posting about Porter’s appearance, claiming it “can convey that someone is sexy or hot.”
She then asks readers to “take action and help get the word out about this ridiculous use of taxpayers’ dollars” by signing a petition on their website.
Following the post’s release on Tuesday, Porter has since made a classy yet resilient response in an Instagram post, once again sharing the photo of him wearing a gown on the Sesame Street set.
He describes filming the show as “one of the highlights of my life” and also shares selfies he took with Penelope Penguin and Elmo. “Together, we sang about the possibilities of new friendships with those who may not be exactly like us,” his caption read in part.
He continues, “I know people are all up in arms about me wearing the gorgeous custom [Christian Siriano] tuxedo dress…if you follow me, however, you know the impact it had. The emails, DMs, and messages of good will I received that day (and continue to receive) from parents and their children who have been bullied all over the world and desperately need to see someone like me, being their authentic selves on mainstream media, is far more important than anything #onemillionmoms could ever say.”
Porter concludes, “friendship, kindness and inclusivity shall triumph. And often, it simply starts by saying hi.”
View this post on Instagram
One of the highlights of my life has been the opportunity to sing on the set of @sesamestreet with my new pal, Penelope the penguin. Together, we sang about the possibilities of new friendships with those who may not be exactly like us. I know people are all up in arms about me wearing the gorgeous custom @csiriano tuxedo dress that I wore at @theacademy awards in 2019 for the upcoming season. If you follow me, however, you know the impact it had. The emails, DMs, and messages of good will I received that day (and continue to receive) from parents and their children who have been bullied all over the world and desperately need to see someone like me, being their authentic selves on mainstream media, is far more important than anything #onemillionmoms could ever say. Friendship, kindness and inclusivity shall triumph. And often, it simply starts by saying hi. #sesamestreet #season51 🐧 🤵🏿@pbs . . Wearing custom @csiriano Styling by @sammyratelle
Porter previously issued a response to Page Six, telling upset conservatives not to watch if it bothers them, and to “stay out of my bedroom.”
“If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Like, what about me singing with a penguin [on the show] has anything to do with what I’m doing in my bedroom?” he told them. “The really interesting thing for me is that that’s what it’s all about when it comes to LGBTQ people — the first thing everyone wants to talk about is how we having sex. Stay out of my bedroom and you will be fine — that is none of your business.”
This may be one justifiable reason – of many – as to why Porter received the “Badass of the Year” award at this week’s Queerties. His show Pose also took home the Best TV series.
This is so badass! Thank you, @queerty for naming me your "Badass of the Year" and for awarding @PoseOnFX with the Queertie for "Best TV Series!" 🏆🏳️🌈 https://t.co/JtO6poSf23 pic.twitter.com/eecv2Yyg9V
— Billy Porter (@theebillyporter) February 27, 2020