Sesame Street has revealed that one of the celebrity guest stars for its upcoming 51st season will be Pose star Billy Porter.
The iconic television show shared photos from the shoot on social media this week, posting several images of the 50-year-old actor and Broadway star hanging out on the Sesame Street set.
What’s more, he is using the opportunity to recycle one of his most memorable red carpet looks, the velvet tuxedo gown and jacket by designer Christian Siriano that he wore to the 2019 Oscars.
Coming up! Sesame Street has revealed that one of the celebrity guest stars for its upcoming 51st season will be Pose star Billy Porter
Hi Elmo! The television show shared photos from the shoot on social media this week, posting several images of the 50-year-old actor on the Sesame Street set
Muppet chic! He’s using the opportunity to recycle one of his most memorable red carpet looks, the tuxedo gown by designer Christian Siriano that he wore to the 2019 Oscars
The 51st season doesn’t have a premiere date yet, but will have 35 episodes which will premiere first on HBO Max and then air for free on PBS Kids.
The decades-long children show has has countless celebrity guests on over the years, and Billy is sure to be one of many on the new season.
‘Billy Porter bringing those fierce vibes to Sesame Street,’ the show wrote on Facebook, sharing several on-set photos, later adding on Twitter that it was ‘an iconic day with an iconic person.’
The snaps reveal that Billy brought back the Christian Siriano gown, posing in it with Elmo and several other Muppets.
‘Y’all, talk about iconic… I was tickled to meet @elmo and the gang at @sesamestreet!’ Billy replied.
‘Billy Porter bringing those fierce vibes to Sesame Street,’ the show wrote on Facebook
Mutual love: Sesame Street and Billy both gushed about each other on social media
The post has earned 20,000 likes on Facebook and thousands of comments, many from supporters.
‘Soooo amazing!!!!!!!! Thank you, Billy Porter!! if I had seen someone like you on TV when I was that age, coming out would have been so much easier and happier,’ wrote one man.
‘Thank you to Sesame Street for always putting children’s development and safety at the forefront. You are still doing so much GOOD, no matter what the ignorant haters say.’
Another wrote: ‘So grateful I was raised watching Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. The characters you grow up loving assure you that you are perfect just the way you are.’
‘I’m glad he found a reason to wear that fabulous dress second time!’ added a third.
Love and light: The post has earned 20,000 likes on Facebook and thousands of comments, many from supporters
Unsurprisingly, though, there were also a few critics chiming in.
‘Disgraceful! Poisoning the children of America’s minds while stealing their innocence! The Left is grooming our children! Wake up! What happened to education??! I will no longer support PBS! God help us if we ever have a draft,’ wrote one.
‘No, please no! This is the most disappointing post yet of 2020. The family as a traditional entity should be respected. If people want to do this on their own, that’s their decision, but to parade this in front of the youngest of kids is WRONG,’ wrote another. My family will no longer be watching Sesame Street.’
However, the comments have been predominantly positive, with those applauding Sesame Street drowning out the critics on the platform.
They’re out: There were also a few critics chiming in, calling it ‘disappointing’ and threatening to boycott
Billy himself has spoken out about not having people like himself to look up to as a kid, and the damage that being labeled a ‘sissy’ caused.
‘The hetero normative construct that masculinity is better silenced me for many years. It was like my masculinity was in question before I could even comprehend the thought,’ he told Allure in January.
‘I was sent to a psychologist at five years old because I was a sissy and my family was afraid. I love them. They didn’t know. It was a different time.’
He recalled one of his earliest childhood memories: He was in kindergarten, and every Wednesday after school he’d sit with a white men for an hour, where it was drilled into him ‘that something’s wrong with you and you need to be fixed based on “You’re not masculine enough.”‘
‘I carried that with me for my whole life until, like, two and a half minutes ago. You know?’ he said.
Fierce: Billy previously wore the velvet gown to the 2019 Academy Awards, where it was one of the most talked-about looks
So while now he is know for his incredible, showstopping red carpet looks — including his voluminous tuxedo gown at the 2019 Oscars and his embellished suit and pink satin-lined cape at the 2019 Golden Globes — for a long time, he’d kept that part of him bottled up for fear of being an outcast.
‘Flamboyance was a silencing mechanism for a long time with me,’ he said. ‘Flamboyant was code for “You’re a f****t, and we don’t want you.”
‘Flamboyant was a word that was used to marginalize me and pigeonhole me and keep me in a box. You get in the room, you give them flamboyant, and then they come back to you with, “He’s too flamboyant.”‘
Billy also spoke about his fashion sense in the interview, saying: ’I always wanted to express myself in my clothes differently. And I always had great taste. And expensive taste.’
Roommates? Viewers had long speculated that Bert and Ernie are gay — and in 2018, a former writer of the show said that he always thought they were
Sesame Street, meanwhile, has had several gay celebrities make appearances over the years, even if Billy is the first to wear a dress.
What’s more, viewers had long speculated that Bert and Ernie are gay — and in 2018, a former writer of the show said that he always thought they were, and he compared them to himself and his male partner.
‘I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were [gay],’ Mark Saltzman told Queerty.
‘I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie and I as “Bert and Ernie.”‘
Sesame Workshop, however, denied this to NBC News.
‘As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves.
‘Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.’
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