One Million Moms, a right-wing special interest group committed to promoting "family-friendly" programming, is currently targeting ABC's The Muppets.
The series, which is a workplace comedy taking place behind the scenes of an ostensible Muppet Show, is aimed at an adult, prime-time audience, but One Million Moms says it's concerned that parents won't know that going in.
"It is not the show it once was," says the grou's petition campaign. "ABC has ruined The Muppets. How many parents want to explain the punchline of sexually charged jokes to young children?"
Of course, as noted above, One Million Moms is technically right in that this is literally not the show it once was; no longer The Muppet Show, which exists only as kind of a meta-joke, very much like the recent Muppets movies, the series titled The Muppets is like a tamer version of Greg the Bunny, operating on the idea that these characters are real and living things and that they have a life beyond the TV show that made them famous. The Muppets is The Office, with puppets, whereas The Muppet Show was more akin to Sesame Street with an edge.
The group, which does not actually have a million members but uses the name popularized by the "Million Man March" in the early '90s, urges advertisers to abandon entertainment they deem objectionable, as well as trying to mobilize e-mails to the content providers themselves. In recent years, much of their focus has been on trying to remove LGBT imagery from the media; they've come into conflict with DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Archie Comics, Toys "R" Us and JC Penney, just to name a few, due to their frustration over gay and lesbian characters being depicted in the media.
Their conflict on DC fans over introducing a gay Green Lantern (the Earth-2 Alan Scott of the post-Flashpoint universe) briefly led to the group shutting down their Facebook account, seemingly becuase they couldn't delete messages supportive of DC and critical of One Million Moms fast enough.
For the most part, their efforts are focused on television, usually zeroing in on specific targets (Desperate Housewives, Glee and The Shield have been historical favorite targets for the group. In the case of Marvel and DC, the organization is urging supporters to e-mail the publishers, using an automated form that e-mails top executives both at ABC and its parent company, Disney.
One Million Moms is an arm of the American Family Association, a nonprofit, Christian lobbying organization that focuses most of its efforts on organizing boycotts and letter-writing campaigns against the media. The AFA has been declared a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, notably for "propagation of known falsehoods" and "demonizing propaganda" about homosexuality.