Master puppeteer, Frank Oz, has spoken out about the Grover F-bomb controversy, dismissing the entire debate. A recent YouTube video asked the internet if the beloved Sesame Street character accidentally dropped an F-bomb on camera. Spoiler alert: the answer is no, he didn't. But that hasn't stopped the debate about whether or not people can hear the puppet cursing. Now the debate has garnered enough steam to earn a response from Oz on social media.
Turns out that even Sesame Street isn't immune to bizarre and controversial news stories. First, there was Sesame Street's lawsuit against The Happytime Murders (a movie about R-rated puppets) for 'tarnishing' their brand. Sesame Street would go on to lose the lawsuit. Later in the year, a writer for the show provided their thoughts on the ongoing question of Bert and Ernie's sexuality. Sesame Street provided an odd response to the possibility, stating that the characters couldn't be gay because puppets don't have a sexual orientation. If Sesame Street thought their strange year was over, they were in for a surprise. Once again they found themselves making headlines for an unexpected reason. This time they were accused of having an R-rated puppet of their own.
Oz, who has voiced Grover for over forty years, took to Twitter to provide his thoughts on the controversy. He was shocked that the debate existed in the first place and that anyone would think it possible for one of the puppets to curse. He went on to explain how seriously he and other performers take their characters. However, he acknowledges some people will just really want to hear a cursing puppet.
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
Once he responded, fans wanted to know just what does go on behind the scenes. One fan posited that the show is edited so no curses ever make it on air. Oz was again thrown off by what fans believed. He explained that, contrary to popular belief, the puppeteers don't goof around with the puppets. "It would be a betrayal of the character's purity."
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
Nobody was expecting to finish out the year with a Yanny vs. Laurel: Sesame Street Edition. But the internet never fails to surprise. Some fans may continue to jokingly insist Grover slipped up on camera. Yet now that Oz has provided his insight, it's safe to say that no, Grover didn't drop the F-bomb and no Sesame Street character ever will. Grover, Big Bird, and all their friends mean a lot to children and adults alike. No puppeteer would ever wish to ruin that.
Source: Frank Oz