By [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Over the past 45 years, life on Sesame Street has modernized, but the locals never left the block. Now they might be forced out.

Parents loved introducing the show to their own children because they could tell them, “I watched this show when I was your age!” and when they were old enough to return to Sesame Street, they’d find many of the same familiar faces there. Not just Big Bird, Snuffy, Oscar and the Cookie Monster, either. They could go back and find Bob, Maria, Luis, and Gordon still hanging out there where they’d left them maybe decades before.

As the show moves to HBO, three long-time cast members have been evicted from their home on Sesame Street. Bob McGrath (Bob), Roscoe Orman (Gordon), and Emilio Delgado (Luis), have all been released. Sonia Manzano, who played Maria, moved on from the show in 2015.

Many were quick to point the finger of blame at HBO, but Sesame Street released a statement saying that the decision was made by Sesame Productions.

But when McGrath broke the news to attendees at a convention recently, his words were carefully chosen.

As of this season, I have completed my 45th season this year, and the show has gone under a major turnaround, going from an hour to a half-hour. HBO has also gotten involved. And they let all of the original cast members go, with the exception of Alan Muraoka — who is probably 20 years younger than the rest of us — and Chris Knowings, who is also young.

McGrath’s comments have led many to accuse Sesame Street of ageism.

After all that time that Count spent teaching us how to get to higher numbers, Sesame Street might not even appreciate them?! Everything feels like a lie.

After public outcry, much criticism, and more than just a few accusations of ageism, Sesame Street backpedaled and said that the three longtime characters would be staying in the neighborhood after all.

In a comment to Fox News Latino, Emilio Delgado said:

Due to your overwhelming reaction regarding the status of myself and others on the show, the new producers of ‘Sesame Street’ have reached out to us with an expressed desire to continue our longstanding relationship, to be initiated with a meeting in September. Hopefully, this will result in the inclusion of veteran cast members in upcoming productions. I look forward to sharing with you at such time, the results of that conversation. Thanks again for your loving support and devotion to ‘Sesame Street’ and to what it has meant to the children of the world.

Hopefully this means that Sesame Street will continue to embrace its longtime cast members.