- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Jim Henson Company is looking for a few good (but gay) men.

The creative powerhouse behind “The Muppets” has put out an exclusive casting call to up its “woke” credentials in the entertainment industry.

A recent audition announcement tweeted to potential recruits reads: “The Jim Henson Company, headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, is seeking top talent and new creative voices from diverse communities and backgrounds to train as puppeteers in the Jim Henson technique. Please see posted images for complete submission guidelines.”

Individuals welcome at the event include “members of the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, [and] women of all cultural backgrounds.”

Puppeteers have 10 minutes at four scheduled events this week and next to show off their skills.

The first Zoom event was held Monday, in addition to those planned for this Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

A “Three-week Inclusive Workshop,” which excludes straight white male puppeteers, will be offered to the best participants.

The entertainment website Bounding into Comics noted multiple levels of irony at play due to the Los Angeles company’s workshop. 

“The namesake for the company, Jim Henson, is a white male if ever the world saw one,” the website responded Tuesday. “In the end, the Jim Henson Company‘s casting call is yet another case of a large corporate entity pushing agendas based on race, gender, and socio-political affiliations, in the name of cultural diversity and ‘inclusivity,’ while in reality practicing the diametrically opposite behavior of that very word.”

One puppeteer on Twitter added: “[I’ve] been training my entire life for an opportunity like this. But I’m not allowed to apply because of my skin color. Jim Henson would be ashamed.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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