Tuned Out

Antigay senator wants to cut PBS funding over Billy Porter’s guest appearance on ‘Sesame Street’

Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert has announced he wants to pull the plug on PBS after learning that Billy Porter has filmed an appearance on Sesame Street.

Porter appeared on the set of the show last week. Photos posted to social media show the actor wearing his infamous tuxedo dress that he wore to the Academy Awards last year. Neither Porter nor the producers of Sesame Street have released further details about the actor’s appearance.

Nevertheless, the idea that a gay man in a dress would appear on the iconic children’s show is apparently too much for Rapert, who has announced he wants to “pass a bill to cutoff all funding for the rebroadcast of PBS programming through [Alabama’s PBS affiliate] AETN and also stop all funding for AETN altogether if necessary.”

On Facebook, Rapert also posted the question: “Do you approve of your taxpayer dollars being used to promote the radical LGBTQ agenda?” alongside a picture of Porter.

At the time of this writing, neither Sesame Street nor Porter has commented on Rapert’s proposed actions. We have to wonder if Rapert even realizes the show already features gay characters: the famed puppet duo Bert & Ernie.

Related: Billy Porter wows red carpet with meme-perfect, motorized hat