July 25, 2006

Hey Sproutlets! It's Time To Say Good-- PR Move!

melanie_from_sprout.jpg

Executives at PBS Sprout fired host Melanie Martinez immediately after they learned--from her--that she had made a totally-safe-for-work PSA spoof called "Technical Virgin" seven years ago.

PBS management want you to remember this important lesson, Sproutlets: your life can always be ruined by one choice you made when you were young. Unless you're Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, or George Carlin, that is.

Technical Virgin [ifilm.com]
PBS Kids' Show Host Fired for Video [ap via mediabistro]

Update: here's part of a statement from the Sproutheads, with the self-adulatory promotion cut out, but the self-righteous idiocy left in. There is NO way any kid would find these videos on his own. I'm no Sprout junkie to begin with, and no particular fan of Martinez's work, either, but PBS Sprout and Comcast are just treating parents like infants:

A Notice To Parents Regarding
The Good Night Show

Late last week, Melanie Martinez, host of The Good Night Show, alerted us to the internet posting of an independent short film that she appeared in seven years ago. PBS KIDS Sprout has determined that the dialogue in this video is inappropriate for her role as a preschool program host and may undermine her characterĺ─˘s credibility with our audience. As a result, PBS KIDS Sprout has decided that she will no longer appear as host of The Good Night Show. Melanie has been an important part of our network and we are disappointed that we had to make this difficult decision.

PBS KIDS Sproutĺ─˘s foremost priority is to do what is best for our young viewers and their families. .. etc. etc.

Update Update:There's been some question on other websites as to the origins of the Technical Virgin videos. They were made by David Mack and John Ordover and hit the web in 2000. Mack's production company is now his writing company, Infinitydog.com. [Here's an interview with him.] Ordover's a Star Trek writer/editor.

7 Comments

.. unless you are a politician.

And if you are, remember - the definition of "when you were young" means up until your 40's.

I mean, c'mon, they should've fired her a long time ago for being a working woman's Sarah Silverman. She was so stiff and could not dance.

{now that Silverman, she's FUNNY. And great with kids. Is she available? To be honest, I always thought that Melanie's gig was like a day's worth of work, taped and repeated ad nauseam. She's lucky in that now she won't be typecast as a kid's tv performer anymore. -ed.]

I wrote this letter to PBS Kids. I think this kind of firing is ridiculous:

Not to say that I even agree with the concept of "The Good Night Show", but I simply must comment on the recent firing of its host: Melanie Martinez. As the father of a baby girl who will one day watch PBS Kids content I have no, repeat *NO*, problem with Ms. Martinez's past behavior. The woman is an adult and took part in adult humor and this has nothing to do with her ability to host a children's program.

Let me remind you that Dr. Suess directed short films for the army that depicted far worse sexual scenes, and his private paintings were sometimes obscene. Shel Silverstien created material for Playboy Magazine and wrote an album about the "F" word.

In short, the firing is horrible. We as a society should find normal those who can move between the infantile and mature worlds with ease and grace. After all, what is an adult who's sole focus in life is child-like innocence? Michael Jackson, perhaps?

The URL for my Web site is incorrect in the article above. It is actually "infinitydog.com" -- not "infinitydogs."

[sorry, dawg, I fixed it. thnx for stopping by. -ed.]

If this pisses you off, please call Sprout president Sandy Wax at XXX-667-2750. What the heck, why not fax her too? XXX-667-2701.

[or just turn it off. It's not like it's UNICEF or anything; it's just one of a half dozen channels a kid could watch, and then there's the DVD's, and the web... but if you're really intent on spamming her, you can look up the city yourself. -ed.]

The nice thing about Melanie's show was it was a good way to gently wind down, and it conveniently ended (for the first of I think 2-3 times) at 8:00pm our time which is bedtime for my two. Sprout runs 24 hours a day which is great for sick-nights and nightmare-nights and the like; the other really little kids channels conk out by 5pm (Cartoon Network is not for 2-year-olds). Anyway, the firing bites and I hope we eventually find out what really went on, but the kids will survive and move on. Just... please, God, don't let them bring back that damn Star puppet. I'll drive up there and take out its tonsils myself if it comes back the same way!

We miss Melanie! What are we teaching children, that if you are not perfect, you are disposable? When my daughter brings home a bad grade in the 2nd grade, I tell her to try harder - not disown her. In he real world, people should teach others to forgive, not to judge. Besides, we are seeing her for what she is today, which is a very sincere young person who truly connects with children. We haven't been so distraught since Steve left Blue's Clues! Please bring her back!!!

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