[UPDATE: As of 5:30 pm, both the facebook page and website for this event have disappeared. Did our premonitions of cease and desist trademark injunctions come true? Does it mean the puppet parade is cancelled? The Oracle (i.e., Google) doesn’t seem to have any more info. Stay tuned for breaking Muppet news.]
Unlike occupiers of another famous street, the Occupy Sesame Street movement is getting organized! Puppet enthusiasts are rallying to take their googly-eyed, faux-fur, giant talking bird loving campaign to save public broadcasting to the nation’s capital with a Million Muppet March on Washington, D.C. on November 3 – just three days before the general election.
The march is not a protest, but rather a “lovefest” according to the organizers, two total strangers who immaculately conceived the
money making scheme idea to capitalize on Romney’s ire-inspiring quip that he will cut funding to PBS at the first presidential debate. They joined forces and a Facebook page and website magically sprung to life and began gaining media-attention momentum and before Jim Lehrer was through crying himself to sleep. The event, described as “a morning of fun in the largest gathering of puppets to ever March on Washington in support of public broadcasting,” will include music and skits and general family-friendly fun with a side of political activism. BYOP.
We’re pretty excited for the Instagram photos of a sea of puppets with a phallic obelisk and distant dome of democracy framed in the background. But this thing may not be all cookies and reading rainbows.
Being young, broke New Yorkers, we’re as concerned about the future of every child’s favorite street (and preserving the only television broadcast that is both free to access for anyone with bunny ears and free from the bias of commercial sponsors) as the next liberal. But, as your broke-ttorney, this thing throws up a few flags. The organizers are not associated with PBS or Disney. Even use of “Muppet” on the website and Facebook page is risky here, but selling T-shirts and other merch? Expect legal injunctions from notoriously litigious private parent companies with financial stakes (Disney) that will not be happy about unauthorized use of their trademarks for commercial profit and in association with an overtly political event. Also, no word on whether any proceeds will actually be used to support PBS.
Will you ride the magic school bus down to D.C. wearing only your sock puppets (no, definitely wear more than just sock puppets)?
For more puppet law follow Rachel @raeinbk