If you were shocked and saddened to lean that some of the longest running actors on Sesame Street had been let go, you likely weren't alone. Now, we've got some more information on those cast members. It looks like favorite characters Bob, Gordon and Luis might be around a bit after all.
In 2014, when we first began producing the current half-hour show format, we let all of our cast members know of the shorter story lines and, therefore, reduced appearances. However, our production team also intentionally left the door open for all actors to continue to appear, based on the story lines that were written in any future season. In our latest season, the storylines written did not include appearances by these three actors and we certainly could have done a better job of communicating with them about our ongoing episode plans. . . . They are, and always will be, a key part of the Sesame family.
Well, how's that for backtracking? Sesame Workshop President and CEO Jeff Dunn wrote this message, which was published today on the Sesame Street Facebook page. I certainly hope that when the show went to a half-hour format in 2014, they were open with the cast members about the fact that their roles would be reduced, but the idea of not including three cast members, Bob McGrath (Bob), Emilio Delgado (Luis) and Roscoe Orman (Gordon), who've been around the show for over 40 years just makes no sense. And, why, if the production team had really made plans for all of the Sesame Street non-Muppet players to continue to appear on the show in some capacity, did the program release a statement last week that made it sound like the three actors would only represent the show during public appearances? Not to be an Oscar the Grouch, but I smell a rat.
It sounds a lot like McGrath, Delgado and Orman really were fired from the show, but that the public outcry over losing some cast members who'd help teach Generations X, Y and Z (and whatever we're supposed to call the subsequent generations) a whole host of lessons, stopped the Sesame Workshop in its tracks. The show's 46th season, which debuted on HBO in January and will continue until September 3, didn't include any Luis, Bob or Gordon appearances, and I bet long time viewers would have noticed, but not been up in arms about the change if there hadn't been a statement released basically saying they were fired.
Well, I hope Sesame Street has learned its lesson. Don't get rid of characters lightly, guys. And don't toss long-standing cast members to the wind. Find a place for them, even if it's only for one episode. Otherwise, people may be u-p-s-e-t with you, and you don't want folks to turn on you Sesame Street. You've had enough problems in the last few years, and really don't need that.