People often throw around the all-too-melodramatic phrase “my childhood is ruined.” Now I”m not going to say that here, but I will say that the younger version of me is certainly more than a little disappointed to find out that Sesame Street has let go of three long-time show actors.
Bob McGrath (“Bob”) Emilio Delgado (“Luis”), and Roscoe Orman (“Gordon”) have been fired from the Emmy-winning and legendary TV series. The 84-year-old McGrath broke the news while at Florida Supercon. And he sounded miffed about changes that have happened since HBO acquired the broadcast rights to the series.
“As of this season, I have completed my 45th season this year,” McGrath said. “And the show has gone under a major turn around, going from an hour to a half-hour. HBO has gotten involved also. And they let all of the original cast members go, with the exception of Alan Muraoka – who is probably 20 years younger than the rest of us – and Chris Knowings, who is also young,” this according to MuppetCast.
In what seems like the makings of a bitter divorce, Sesame Street countered on Twitter. They wrote, “Since the show began, we are constantly evolving our content and curriculum, and hence, our characters, to meet the educational needs of our children… Sesame Workshop retains sole creative control over the show. HBO does not oversee the production.”
Sesame Street signed a five-year deal to join HBO in 2015 after years of significant financial losses. In 2014 alone, they were $11 million in the red according to The Hollywood Reporter. At the time of the deal, Sesame Workshop CEO Jeff Dunn told THR, “Without this five-year funding commitment from HBO, we would not have a sustainable funding model that would allow for the continued production of the show.”
Here”s a clip of McGrath singing the popular song “People in Your Neighborhood.”