- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 28, 2016

“Sesame Street” will never be the same. HBO has issued pink slips to “Bob,” “Luis” and “Gordon,” played respectively by Bob McGrath, Emilio Delgado and Roscoe Orman.

HBO, which took over broadcasting rights for the classic television show last fall from PBS, issued a statement about its iconic characters Thursday.

“Bob McGrath, Emilio Delgado (“Luis”), Roscoe Orman (“Gordon”) remain a beloved part of the Sesame family and continue to represent us at public events,” the official Sesame Street Twitter account wrote Thursday. “To us, and for millions of people worldwide, they are a treasured part of Sesame Street. Since the show began, we are constantly evolving our content and curriculum, and hence, our characters, to meet the educational needs of children. As a result of this, our cast has changed over the years, though you can still expect to see many of them in upcoming productions.”

Mr. McGrath has been with the show since 1969.

“As of this season, I have completed my 45th season this year,” the actor said on The MuppetCast podcast Wednesday. “The show has gone under a major turnaround, going from an hour to a half-hour. HBO has gotten involved also, and they let all of the original cast members go.”

Adults who grew up with the cast did not respond favorably to HBO’s decision.

“This is wrong. And you know it,” teacher Rebekah Madrid tweeted at the Sesame Street account Thursday.

“You sicken me. You have destroyed the format, then you destroyed the message, then you destroyed the cast,” added another.

“Does this mean the new curriculum is covering ageism?” asked John Richards.

Executive producer Carol-Lynn Parente told Entertainment Weekly in January that the challenge for her was making sure the show stayed relevant to the times.

“You constantly have to evolve, but you have to keep that essence of what feels like Sesame Street to whatever generation is watching,” Ms. Parente told the magazine in January.

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