Two weeks ago, 'Sesame Street' took home six Daytime Emmy Awards.
Now, its production company Sesame Workshop has laid off 30 employees, nearly 10 percent of its work force. These cuts come after previous cuts about a year ago that cost approximately (full numbers not released) 12 people their jobs, as well as cuts in 2009 that reduced its labor force by about 60.
“Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind Sesame Street, is constantly assessing where we must invest for the future in response to today’s rapidly changing digital environment,” said the organization in a written statement. “After careful review, we have concluded that we must reduce our workforce by approximately 10% to strategically focus our resources. We remain optimistic about our future and remain committed to our mission of helping children reach their highest potential here and around the globe.”
It has been a rough year for Sesame Workshop. From the scandals surrounding former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash to presidential candidate Mitt Romney wanting to take away financing for PBS, effectively killing 'Sesame Street.'
"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. 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," said Sherrie Westin, Sesame Workshop executive vice president and chief marketing officer, about Romney's comments last year.
While 'Sesame Street' may always be there, the people who work on it may not. As a parent who understands the education value in programs like 'Sesame Street,' this news really sucks.