BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.– Sesame Workshop has apologized for what it calls “misunderstandings around the changing cast roles at ‘Sesame Street.'”
A statement Tuesday from Sesame Workshop CEO Jeffrey D. Dunn attempts to clarify the status of three veteran actors on the long-running children’s series: Emilio Delgado, who plays Luis the handyman; Roscoe Orman, who plays Gordon; and Bob McGrath, part of the original cast since 1969.
Last week, a public uproar erupted from McGrath’s assertion that they had been fired months before.
Dunn acknowledged that producers could have done a better job of communicating future episode plans with the three stars.
He said he expected to meet with each of them to discuss “how we best adapt their talents to the current content needs … in a way that honors their historic contributions.”
Here is Dunn’s entire statement:
We apologize for the misunderstandings around the changing cast roles at Sesame Street. Over more than 40 seasons, Bob McGrath, Emilio Delgado and Roscoe Orman have made enormous contributions to both television and to the lives of preschoolers. They are, and always will be, a key part of the Sesame family.
As always, our curriculum and educational goals drive our story lines and character appearances. These change season-to-season. In 2014, when we first began producing the current half-hour show format, we let all of our cast members know of the shorter story lines and, therefore, reduced appearances. However, our production team also intentionally left the door open for all actors to continue to appear, based on the story lines that were written in any future season. In our latest season, the story lines written did not include appearances by these three actors and we certainly could have done a better job of communicating with them about our ongoing episode plans.
I have been in touch with each of them to meet in person about how we best adapt their talents to the current content needs and preschool media landscape, in a way that honors their historic contributions. We are very grateful for the many loyal fans of Sesame who continue to care so deeply about the show and what it means to them.