Ted Baehr, the founder of Movieguide, a family guide to movies and entertainment, says Jim Henson would be ashamed of the new “Muppets” movie.
In a column at Breaking Christian News, he writes that the R-rated “Happytime Murders” is “a shameful exhibition of hate for puppets, children, adults, and everyone else in society.”
“Jim Henson (concerned about building character) would be ashamed; his children should be ashamed; and, Melissa McCarthy and Joel McHale are probably too desensitized to know what the word ‘shame’ means,” he said.
The show is described as a 2018 American black comedy crime film directed by Brian Henson.
It is the debut project for Henson Alternative, a banner of The Jim Henson Co. that specializes in adult content.
It received generally unfavorable reviews from critics.
Jim Henson is the creator of the Muppets, the children’s puppet characters made famous on the PBS show “Sesame Street.”
Baehr explains his concerns.
“Years ago, when I was the director of the TV Dept. at the City University of New York, one of the professors was Jim Day, who years earlier co-founded the Children’s Television Workshop, which gave birth to Sesame Street and national prominence to the Muppets. Another close friend of mine, who’s still on our Board of References, is Bob Savage, the former chief operating officer of The Jim Henson Company. Of course, there was the late Jim Henson, who conceptualized the Muppets,” he wrote.
“Henson, Savage and I grew up in a very pietistic wing of a particular religious splinter group, and Jim Day was an elder in his Baptist church. Every one of us was concerned about children, and the whole reason for Sesame Street was to help children develop values and to be educated in basic kindergarten tasks.”
But Baehr explained that none would like the new movie, “because this spinoff from the Muppet universe is being used to foist upon susceptible people of all ages grotesque violence, sex and pornography.”
“Jim Henson in particular would have been ashamed of his children producing such a vile movie,” he said.
Baehr pointed out that studies show children and adults exposed to media adopt the behavior they see.
“Does anybody want any child (or any adult for that matter) to adopt the loathsome behavior on display in HAPPYTIME MURDERS?” he asked.