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Some ‘Sesame Street’ Fans Say Cookie Monster NFTs Don’t Honor the Show’s Original Legacy


Is the metaverse on its way to “Sesame Street”?

Some fans of the beloved TV series have criticized Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind the show, after announcing that it will be giving away 5,555 editions of Cookie Monster NFT collectibles.

Critics on social media have said the decision to launch an NFT collection is a departure from Sesame Street’s origins as an educational program to help level the playing field for children from underprivileged backgrounds, particularly the black and Latino children. Some have pointed out that the cost (each NFT is priced at $60) also makes it inaccessible to many viewers.

“NFTs are completely contrary to the ideals I associate with Sesame Street,” Becca Petunia, writer for ToughPigs: Muppet Fans Who Grew Up, told Sesame Street. online fan community.

Cookie Monster NFTs seem financially out of reach for most people and aimed at those with disposable income, Petunia continued.

“The environmental impact is questionable, which contradicts Sesame’s many green messages,” she said. “It’s not a product that feels useful or important.”

Others online had similar reactions.

“Sesame Street was built to help educate children from low-income families. Giving the less privileged the opportunity to learn before entering kindergarten,” a fan account, called “Muppet History”, tweeted. “This nostalgia-fueled cash grab goes completely against that ideology and it’s sickening.”

“Who even asked that?! Who does this appeal to? » writing another Twitter user.

Some have also questioned the relevance of NFTs. “NFTs are still there?” a Twitter user writing.

“It’s pure disrespect for an educational institution like Sesame Street…but…the NFT market is collapsing,” another user added.

A Sesame Workshop spokesperson did not address the backlash when asked for a request for comment.

“The launch of Sesame Street Digital Collectibles helps fund our mission-driven work to help kids around the world grow smarter, stronger, and kinder while giving our longtime adult fans a new way to show their love for Sesame Street. character,” the spokesperson said. “Partnering with VeVe is an opportunity to explore the digital space to connect with collectors in a way that resonates with them.”

VeVe, a digital collectibles app that has partnered with Sesame Street, offers premium licensed collectibles from partner brands including Disney, Marvel, DC Comics and Warner Bros., and Star Wars. The platform allows fans to interact with each other by showcasing their digital collections in virtual showrooms and virtually visiting, commenting on and liking other collectors’ showrooms.

Some online defended Sesame Street’s decision.

“NFTs are better for the environment [than] real toys, and there’s a real collector base for these that people love to hate,” one Twitter user said. writing.

“I grew up watching Sesame Street and am a fan to this day,” another user writing. “It was part of my childhood. I have yet to see a valid argument against NFT that cannot be refuted. Arguments against NFT are either weak or simply stem from ignorance.”

Cookie Monster NFT is scheduled for release on March 19.

Petunia said she plans to honor the “Sesame Street” she grew up with.

“Yes, that particular image is new,” she said of NFTs, “but it does nothing to deepen our appreciation of the characters in any meaningful way.”

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.