NEW YORK, Aug. 2 (UPI) — Sesame Workshop is apologizing for recent “misunderstandings around the changing cast roles at Sesame Street.”
Bob McGrath, a co-star since 1969, revealed last week he, Emilio Delgado and Roscoe Orman were all fired when the pre-school show moved from PBS to HBO and the program’s format was cut from 60 to 30 minutes.
Following a public outcry over the perceived ousting of the beloved actors who played Bob, Luis and Gordon for decades, the show’s producers issued a statement Tuesday clarifying that while the men had not been laid off, they also would not be appearing in any episodes in the latest season.
“We apologize for the misunderstandings around the changing cast roles at Sesame Street. Over more than 40 seasons, Bob McGrath, Emilio Delgado and Roscoe Orman have made enormous contributions to both television and to the lives of preschoolers. They are, and always will be, a key part of the Sesame family,” Sesame Workshop CEO Jeffrey D. Dunn said in a statement.
“As always, our curriculum and educational goals drive our story lines and character appearances. These change season-to-season. 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 story lines 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,” the statement continued.
“I have been in touch with each of them to meet in person about how we best adapt their talents to the current content needs and preschool media landscape, in a way that honors their historic contributions. We are very grateful for the many loyal fans of Sesame who continue to care so deeply about the show and what it means to them.”