Given the inherent strangeness of the Internet and the people who use it, we shouldn't be surprised that some people are insisting a puppet dropped an F-bomb during a children's program.
The debate over Grover saying "f**k" on an episode of Sesame Street is the new Yanny vs. Laurel, blue dress vs. black dress. And while it's all in good fun, master puppeteer Frank Oz isn't having any part in it.
Really? I didn’t perform Grover there but I assure you, we take the purity of the characters very seriously. But people will hear what they want to hear.— Frank Oz (@TheFrankOzJam) December 28, 2018
Oz was asked about the strange phenomenon and immediately dismissed it, and instead defended the sanctity of the Sesame Street characters and the Muppets, as well as the craft of bringing these puppets to life.
I’ve never understood why some people love imagining that, between takes, we screw around with the characters by having them swear or having them use sexual innuendos or putting cigarettes in their mouths and laughing. We don’t. It would be a betrayal of the character’s purity.— Frank Oz (@TheFrankOzJam) December 29, 2018
Oz then even took his Star Wars co-star Mark Hamill to task after a joke in which the actor referred to the character as "Gangsta Grover."
Wait. You mean some of you out there seriously believe that Grover on Sesame Street would say the word “fuck” — on camera or off-camera? Really???? //t.co/PFjnjYYQ8p— Frank Oz (@TheFrankOzJam) December 30, 2018
Of course, it's unlikely that the people engaging in this discussion are intending to disrespect Sesame Street or the talented people who make it happen. It's just a bit of fun surrounding the latest meme to hit the Internet.
But it does go to show how seriously Oz takes his duties, and how maybe he's not the right person to ask about Muppets cussing if you're looking for a humorous, light-hearted response. We failed to read the room on that one.
Read on to see more of Frank Oz's reactions to the Grover F-bomb, and then feel bad about yourself for twisting the purity of Sesame Street.
Thanks. I’m glad you watched MUPPET GUYS TALKING and now understand. But it’s not about the children. We don’t perform for children. It’s about believing in the characters. If we radically went against who they were inside It would be like an actor having Hamlet tap dance.— Frank Oz (@TheFrankOzJam) December 30, 2018
I am not aware of a “New Zoo Review” clip. But if any of the performers betrayed the purity of their characters those people were not real Muppet performers.— Frank Oz (@TheFrankOzJam) December 30, 2018