The people behind “Sesame Street” are speaking out amid reports that President Trump plans to eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds PBS.
In a statement published on Twitter, Sesame Workshop said that they “stand firmly and passionately in support of the vital public investment that allows” the CPB and PBS to do their work.
“‘Sesame Street’ was created to provide early access to education for all children. Research shows that high quality preschool educational experiences are a key determinant in an individual’s lifelong learning outcomes,” the statement begins.
Please see our following statement regarding federal funding for public broadcasting. pic.twitter.com/Nu5imHJZWN
— Sesame Workshop (@SesameWorkshop) March 16, 2017
“PBS makes ‘Sesame Street’ available to all Americans, and thereby continues to play a major role in helping less privileged kids gain access to preschool education that has proven and enduring value. While Sesame Workshop currently receives no direct funding from CPB or PBS, we stand firmly and passionately in support of the vital public investment that allows them to continue this important work,” Sesame Workshop continued.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Trump’s budget would eliminate the $445 million in funding for the CPB, as well as the budgets for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.
The budget eliminations would be unlikely to harm PBS or National Public Radio, which the CPB also funds. According to 2014 figures reported by the Post, NPR derives less than 1 percent of its revenue from the CPB, while PBS draws less than 7 percent of its revenue from the organization.
Even so, the report of the proposed budget cuts drew anger from many in Hollywood.
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Jane Alexander, who served as NEA chair under President Clinton, tweeted out a call for action, writing, “Calling all artists and arts lovers, (who doesn’t love the arts?) make your voices heard: SAVE THE NEA.”