BringBackMel

Name:

Melanie Martinez of Sprout's "The Good Night Show" was fired on July 21 because of two short comedy sketches she appeared in over seven years ago. Please let PBS and Sprout know that you disagree with their decision and since Mel was important to our children, you will no longer watch or support their networks.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Interview with Melanie in NYTimes

Check out the article here .

Saturday, July 29, 2006

PBS response and editorials

Here's an article about PBS' hypocritical stance on censorship. Read while PBS President Paula Kerger stands up for free speech, in a vain attempt to maintain credibility. She mentions Melanie's firing at the end.

Here's the story

PBS Ombudsman, Michael Getler, took the time to write a response to all the mail he's received.

And some more links to articles on Mel's firing:

http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/592222/anger_sprouts_online_to_good_night_show_firing/index.html?source=r_technology
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2006/07/28/notes072806.DTL&type=printable
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-goldstein/pbs-needs-a-spanking-for-_b_25956.html

Thanks to everyone that has written Sprout and affliates, and to those who have posted links to sponsors and articles.

And just for your enjoyment, here's some more Sprout sponsors that would love to hear you express you disappointment:

Kumon Learning Center
Kidzbop CDs
Laurie Berkner

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Some more news and links

First, here's some new coverage on the story:

http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/entertainment/columnists/15123690.htm
http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/entertainment/15121902.htm

And here's a round-up of Sprout affliates and advertisers:

Sanday Wax (Sprout President) - Sandy_wax@sproutletsgrow.com
Andrew Beecham (Senior VP of Programming) - Andrew_beecham@sproutletsgrow.com
Sprout's Contact Email - info@sproutletsgrow.com
Michael Getler (PBS Ombudsman) - http://www.pbs.org/ombudsman/feedback.html
Sesame Workshop - http://www.sesameworkshop.org/aboutus/inside_contact.php
HIT Entertainment - http://www.hitentertainment.com/portal/contact_form/
Comcast - http://www.comcast.net/help/contact/
Huggies - http://www.huggieshappybaby.com/utility/contactus.aspx
Chuck E. Cheese - marketing@cecentertainment.com

In addition, there are some online petitions to sign:

http://www.petitiononline.com/SAVEMEL/petition.html
http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/melaniemartinez

You can also call or write Sprout at the following address:

Sandy Wax
President

PBS Kids Sprout
2000 Market Street, 20th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Phone: 215-667-2750
Fax: 215-667-2701

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bring Back Mel

PBS Kids Sprout (info@sproutletsgrow.com)network recently fired Melanie Martinez, host of "The Good Night Show", for appearing in two 30-second comedy sketches 7 years ago. Sure, the language was a bit salty, but definitely not worth losing her job over.

While to most adults, Mel's show may seem silly, she is adored by our children, and her show is deeply ingrained in their bedtime routines.

Here's the link to Sprouts lame "explanation":

http://www.sproutletsgrow.com/good_night/index.html


Sure, the videos are aimed at adults, but should Mel be fired over something she did 7 years ago (before any of her audience was even born!)? Sprout claims that this pieces make her an inappropriate choice for host of the show. I think this is a lie. Sprout overreacted in fear of a negative backlash.

Sprout - if you think this is bad, just look at the list of guests for Sesame Street. There are countless actors/actresses that have been in films that feature violence, sex, and drugs. Does this mean that Sesame Street should be pulled from the air? No! George Carlin narrates Thomas the Tank Engine. Should this show be pulled from the lineup? No!

The people at Sprout that made this decision should grow a spine and show some integrity by publicly apologizing to Mel, and resuming production of "The Good Night Show". This action was cowardly, shameful, and disloyal -- Mel's show helped build the Sprout network, and was the reason why we ever tuned in.

Sprout - Restore Mel and her show, then we can all get back to our routines, and countless children will be overjoyed.

In the meantime, we are no longer watching Sprout in our household, and are seriously considering withholding support for PBS.

Here's the Yahoo story:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060725/ap_en_ce/tv_good_night

To tell Sprout how you feel, send an email here:

info@sproutletsgrow.com

Tell the PBS Ombudsman your feelings:

http://www.pbs.org/ombudsman/feedback.html

Tell your local PBS affliate that you can't support this decision:

http://www.pbs.org/aboutpbs/aboutpbs_support.html


*Update* - The Philadelphia Daily News has coverage of this, along with some thoguhtful commentary:

http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/15115320.htm

Here's the Wikipedia entry on Mel, which features links to articles about Mel and her firing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanie_Martinez





List of Sprout Affliates and Sponsors

These companies all own a stake in Sprout. Let them know how you feel:

Comcast - http://www.comcast.net/help/contact/

Sesame Workshop - http://www.sesameworkshop.org/aboutus/inside_contact.php

HIT Entertainment - http://www.hitentertainment.com/portal/contact_form/

PBS - http://www.pbs.org/aboutsite/aboutsite_emailform.html

Sponsors:

Huggies - http://www.huggieshappybaby.com/utility/contactus.aspx

My Email to Sprout and PBS

Here's the text of the email I sent to Sprout, my local PBS affliate, and PBS Ombudsman, Michael Getler:

Subject: Rehire Mel


Body:


I just wanted elaborate on my previous email about the ridiculous firing of Mel.


1. Given your line of reasoning (Mel used salty language in a tongue-in-cheek comedy sketch), then the venerable Sesame Street should be pulled off the air. I mean, they have a huge roster of guest stars that have produced music, films, and television material not suitable for children. Let's run down some of these guests and their material that is, as you say, inappropriate:


Jason Alexander - On Seinfeld, discussed the size of his penis. Regularly lied, stole, and adulterous
Tyra Banks - Victoria Secret model
Wayne Brady - Used the "N" word on Chappelle's Show
Jim Carrey - Used naughty words and appeared nude in Ace Ventura
Bill Cosby - Numerous sex scandals and outspoken activist
Jamie Lee Curtis - appeared in her underwear in movies
Robert DeNiro - regularly plays murders
James Gandolfini - plays a murder/criminal
Madeline Kahn - played a number of 'saucy' characters, in movies like Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. Much like the bits Mel was in.
Mel Gibson - regularly kills people on screen, and has appeared nude in film.
Tom Green - gross out comic. Built nude statues of his parents and displayed on TV.
Julianne Moore - has appeared nude and in numerous sex scenes.
Bob Saget - was in the Aristocrats
Arnold Schwarzenegger - star of dozens of violent movies
Cindy Crawford - posed nude for Playboy
Johnny Cash - drug addict and adulterer
Lucy Liu - made a career of playing sexually charged characters
Susan Saradon - sex scenes, scantily clad, sexually charged roles
Glenn Close - in Fatal Attraction was nude in several sex scenes. Played a psychotic, murderous adulterer.
The list goes on and on. Fortunately, the fine folks at Sesame Street realize that their audience won't have their childhood ruined because one day, they grow up and watch Fatal Attraction.


2. This teaches an awful lesson to children: Make one mistake and that's it. No forgiveness. Just immediate, irreversible punishment. Good lesson.


3. To the person(s) that decided that firing Mel was the right decision: What have you done in college that warrants you losing your job today?


Mel did these bits when she was in school. They were two 30 second spots. She's an actress. What stupid things have you done? What skeletons are in your closet? Should you lose your job today for them?


This was a terrible business decision, and it was also an awful decision morally. It was a politically motivated action, perpetrated by a coward(s). Instead of standing up to potential a backlash over 60 seconds worth of comedy (it's not like she was in porn), you took the easy, spineless, cowardly way out. You stabbed Mel in the back, after she, and her show, helped build the foundation of your network. Saying that the network felt Mel acting as host for the show would be inappropriate is a lie. The network simply feared a negative reaction.


So, fearing some salty language, you have, inadvertently taught us all a lesson: The people that run Sprout do not value loyalty, forgiveness, honesty, or courage. Every night our family watched the Good Night Show as part of our child's bedtime routine. Until Mel, and her show is restored, we will not be watching. Those responsible for this decision need to show some integrity, class, and responsibility by issuing an immediate apology to Mel, parents, and all the children that tune in every night.


In addition, I'm seriously questioning whether or not we should provide any support for my local PBS affiliate -- if this is a decision that PBS is happy with.