The Muppets have featured an eclectic mix of villains in their movies throughout the years. Doc Hopper was the owner of a chain of restaurants whose specialty was frogs legs in The Muppet Movie; Long John Silver was the pirate with a dark ulterior motive in Muppet Treasure Island; and greedy businessman Ebenezer Scrooge is the baddie in The Muppet Christmas Carol. In the latest installment of the Muppet franchise, the antihero is an oil tycoon called Tex Richman (played by Chris Cooper). Some people have expressed outrage that a businessman with such good, selfless intentions as the owner of an oil company is portrayed as the bad guy in a kids’ movie. BP’s Tony Hayward and his ilk probably cry themselves to sleep because of their unfair, undemocratic depiction.
Fox Business Network anchor Eric Bolling has accused “liberal Hollywood, the left” of brainwashing children. Bolling also denounced other kids’ entertainment, such as Captain Planet and Sesame Street. “We’re teaching our kids class warfare. Where are we, Communist China?” Parents may be shocked to discover that hidden messages also appear in Happy Feet 2, claims Kyle Smith, film critic for the New York Post: “Penguins are seen being victimized by pollution and other environmental degradations associated with the industrial age. Well played, lefties: This is Kiddie Karl Marx.” To quote The Simpsons’ character, Helen Lovejoy, “Won’t somebody please think of the children?”
Where do you stand on the oil debate? Are you a Muppet, a puppet, a plutocrat or do you just want to be green, like Kermit, even if it isn’t easy? For an insight into all sides of the argument, click on these links: