Mitt Romney apologized to PBS newsman Jim Lehrer in the debate Wednesday night for promising to cut public broadcasting’s government funding. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I like PBS. I love Big Bird.”
But Sesame Workshop executive vice president Sherrie Westin told CNN Thursday morning that the giant yellow creature will be just fine.
“The Sesame Workshop receives very, very little funding from PBS,” she said. “So we are able to raise our funding through philanthropic, through our licensed product, which goes back into the educational programming, through corporate underwriting and sponsorship. So quite frankly, you can debate whether or not there should be funding of public broadcasting. But when they always try to tout out Big Bird, and say we’re going to kill Big Bird – that is actually misleading, because Sesame Street will be here. … Big Bird lives on.”
Of course, that hasn’t stopped Sesame Street actors from asking Congress not to cut PBS funding.
Update: In an interview with the Post, Westin clarified that the ties between Sesame and PBS are strong. “Sesame Street been a partner with PBS for 43 years,” she said. “But more importantly, we’re dependent on them to distribute our education programing to all children in the United States.”