President Donald Trump unveiled his budget on Thursday, and is planning on making massive budget cuts to domestic programs. Programs like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) which fund NPR and PBS will be on the chopping block. Rest assured, Big Bird and Elmo will survive without the government.
While liberals are comparing Trump’s budget to a dystopia and giving children nightmares that their favorite puppets will soon be no more, Sesame Street and most PBS shows will be fine.
Mitt Romney threatened to cut off funds to PBS if he were to win the presidential election in 2012. Sherrie Westin, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Sesame Workshop, told CNN that the cut in funding would not “kill Big Bird.”
“Sesame Workshop receives very, very little funding from PBS. 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,” Westin said. “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.”
Only 31 percent of Sesame Street funding comes from a mixture of corporate, government, and foundational support. Nearly 70 percent comes from licensing, distribution fees, and royalties.
Sesame Street has so much potential to be even more profitable now that HBO bought the right to air the show for five years in 2015. PBS gets to air the new episode after a nine-month exclusivity period for HBO.
Furthermore, PBS and NPR will also be fine because they aren’t that reliant on the CPB either. According to Pro Publica, only 15 percent of PBS’s funding are CPB-issued grants, while only two percent of NPR’s funding comes from the government agency.
Perhaps all the celebrities who love to bask in the glow of their own greatness at award shows can open up their pockets and give additionally to the very small amount cut from PBS’ budget.
Whether or not Meryl Streep puts her money where her mouth is, kids favorite shows like Sesame Street will be fine.