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July 25, 2006

Say Goodnight, Melanie

Goodnight, Melanie!

PBS, probably fearful of some religious conservative backlash (consisting of 7 people writing 234 letters) or the vague whims of the angry FCC gods, has fired kids' show host Melanie Martinez for a satirical video she made, once upon a while back:

The PBS Kids Sprout network has fired the host of "The Good Night Show" after learning she had appeared in videos called "Technical Virgin."
Sounds pretty damning, doesn't it? Sounds like maybe there's some pr0n on the loose in her video history.
In the two "Technical Virgin" videos -- made before she landed the children's show job -- she spoofs PSAs about how young women can keep their virginity.
Or maybe it's just the equivalent of Saturday Night Live humor. The horror!
Airing for three hours each evening, "The Good Night Show" airs soothing stories and cartoons designed to get an audience of 2-to-5-year-olds ready for bed...

"PBS Kids Sprout has determined that the dialogue in this video is inappropriate for her role as a preschool program host and may undermine her character's credibility with our audience," said Sandy Wax, network president.

A few thoughts:Dumb ol' PBS.

Update: Someone named Melanie, who may or may not be the Melanie in question, left this comment:

If you want something done, go to the calling PBS Kids Sprout President Sandy Wax. Her phone number is 215-667-2750.
The situation presents a bit of a pickle... would you want to go back to work somewhere that is run by someone so incompetent when it comes to moral sensibilities? I suspect Ms. Wax will shore up her defenses and claim she "did it for the kids!"

Well, thank you very much, but I'll be the one deciding what is and is not appropriate for my children.

Here's hoping that this little incident results in Martinez getting offered a bigger and better position soon; I'd offer a co-blogging gig here at the WWR, but - well - the pay sucks and I'm far too self-centered to share the limelight again.

Update 2: The PBS Ombudsman says:

Nevertheless, there is something very disturbing about firing somebody for something done many years ago that was not illegal, that is not hard to imagine as the kind of thing that young actors will do at the start of a career, and that was clearly a spoof. Was it a mistake in judgment? I don't know. But who hasn't made mistakes? Again, it's easy for me to say these things, but it would have been a greater bow to freedom of expression and against guilt by association for the program and PBS to stick by her.

Posted by Andy at 08:17 AM