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HIV Positive Muppet in South Africa--on Today

Discussion in 'Sesame Worlds' started by Gonzo, Sep 17, 2002.

  1. Gonzo Active Member

    They just had the HIV Positive Muppet from South Africa on the Today Show--she was "Mango" colored with brown hair--they said she'd be a story teller and a "live wire" that interacted and played with the other Muppets, and that she's also an orphan. It was a pretty good little story...but the interviewer (Ann Curry) seemed to really be focusing on the idea that she should be this tragic character spreading viruses and doom everywhere she went. The focus is living with HIV, not becoming a Typhoid Mary....

    Anyway. Good segment if you can find it--if you're on the West Coast...

    Quinnnnnnnn
  2. Sunshineboz New Member

  3. Cantus Rock New Member

    Aww...:(

    She is such a sweet looking character...I'm glad they didn't bring her to the US, I'd be too depressed to watch SS with her on it...

    Characters that make you feel, I guess that's what Henson does best.

    -Matt
  4. MuppetQuilter Member

    I don't think Kami (that's her name, right?) is going to be a depressing character. She has HIV, not AIDS. She isn't going to be horribly sick and I sincerely doubt any Sesame Street production is going to put together a story arch where young children watch someone they care about slowly die.

    With proper medication, people with HIV can live productive, active lives. From everything I've read, Kami is going to be a vibrant, endearing little monster who will be running and jumping along side the other Muppets in no time.

    I think the idea is to demystify the disease a bit and try to make it a little less scary to kids-- I can't see that working if the character is weak and frail and tragic. One of the great things about Muppets, about being made of foam and fur, is she doesn't ever have to develop AIDS. We know that in real life HIV leads to AIDS, but the Sesame Street audience will change (some kids will out grow it, younger kids will start watching) so Kami's story doesn't have to progress the way it would in a living person.
  5. Cantus Rock New Member

    Oh yeah Ms. Quilter I totally agree with your thoughts. You must have misunderstood me.

    What I meant was that I would just be sad seeing a character that is so young and full of energy having to deal with such a horrible disease. I know Sesame Workshop would portray her in a way that is not scary for children - I'm talking about my views as a more adult-minded person. Its a hard thing to think about for me. Especially under the circumstances that SW was going to be putting her under. She obviously didn't get it through shared needles or sexual contact, so that means she was born into it. A sweet, innocent girl, born into a cureless disease. That is so heartbreaking to me.

    I know people with HIV can lead active productive lives, but were not talking about just people. She is a girl who I would cry seeing, no matter how happy she looks, or how productive her life is. Just the fact she has the disease would be painful for me. Of course I know its just a puppet, and once the hand comes out of her shes just a sewn up batch of cloth; thats what the "characters that make you feel" statement was about (by the way).

    I am all for getting the word out about HIV and AIDS. I think it is a very important issue to be taught to children in todays world. I just don't know how I would feel having the topic brought up on Sesame Street, that's all. I'm sure that should they have brought her to the US tho, SW would have known just how to prepare her for the young ones. Its my adult mind that would hurt because it, which I'm sure you can understand.

    -Matt
  6. Boober_Baby New Member

    Yeah, that's true. Even though she's just a puppet, it is a sad thing to deal with.

    But I think it's great that Seasme Street is actually informing kids on HIV. And I'm sure that the way they inform them will be enlightening without being stereotypical (depressive, dying, weak, etc...). And also, how many kids shows would actually take on something as serious as HIV and put it into a positive light? I think this is a really good media to inform kids about it. I'm certain it will be tons better then those campy education videos we had to watch in school.

    And she is such a cute lil' Muppet! ^^

    ^_^ Debo
  7. Jeffrey Gray Member

    And to think we're not getting a similar Muppet just because a bunch of conservative Republican politicians complained about "gay Muppets who got AIDS from sex"...sad, ain't it?
  8. Skeeter Muppet Active Member

    Very. I wonder if they even know, realize and/or care that there are no references to homosexualism in Takalani Sesame or in Kami's backstory.


    -Kim
  9. Cantus Rock New Member

    Although I don't think its right that that could be what politicians think, I do think its okay that we don't have an HIV+ character in America. Our schools and parents in this country do a good job of getting the point across about HIV/AIDS. And now with Sesame Street being geared towards 2-4 year olds, its just not something they need to be seeing in this country, where as in S. Africa the points about the diseas must be totally drilled in from that early an age.

    So Stupid Politians = Bad
    Not having Kami in America = Good
    Danishes = Wonderful

    -Matt

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