“Sesame Street” has moved from television to the web to offer families divorce kits online. The educational children’s program has finally decided to tackle a tough topic for kids that the show failed at addressing in the early 90s.
Time reports on a video segment “Sesame Street” produced in 1992, called “D is For Divorce: Big Feelings on Sesame Street.” Producers decided to pull the plug before airing the video after a disastrous focus group that made preschoolers cry and worry for their own families.
The new media kit, “Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce,” has been two years in the making. It includes a story book, a guide for parents, and a downloadable app. Featured is a 13-minute video segment, starring show favorite, fairy Abby Cadabby. In the video, viewers learn Abby’s parents have been divorced for some time.
Sesame Workshop’s vice president, Lynn Chwatsky, hopes Abby’s involvement in the video will give kids someone to relate to. “These kids love and adore Abby. So to know that she’s going through something similar to them, something challenging,” says Chwatsky. “It’s like, Wow. It makes it O.K. to have a whole range of feelings.
The segment will not air on the show, as it’s intended for a target audience — children of divorce.
Sesame Workshop has faced some family dysfunction of its own lately, with Elmo’s departure from “Sesame Street” amid multiple sex abuse allegations against the actor who voices the character, Kevin Clash.