Sesame Street's most naive and trusting character has been laid off in a video taking aim at Donald Trump's military-heavy, culture-light budget, which proposes slashing funding to a number of community and cultural agencies, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting allocates its funding amongst public broadcasters nationwide, including PBS, NPR, as well as local broadcasters across the country. Although Sesame Street has actually now moved to HBO, PBS is where Elmo and his friends got their big break, not to mention where much free educational children's programming comes from. Cutting funding to PBS and NPR is an ideological move by the GOP, which regularly accuses these broadcasters of liberal bias, but it's also a stupid move; 90.3 percent of CPB's public funding actually goes to local broadcasters, many in areas that voted for Trump.
What's Trending has created a brilliant video driving home the harshness of scrapping the already low funding to these treasured federal agencies (which as the Washington Post points out, make up only 6 percent of Trump's proposed increase in military spending).
"Elmo...' an off-camera voice announces. 'It does me no great joy to inform you that due to recent cuts in government funding to PBS, you are no longer employed by Sesame Street Workshop. Elmo, you're being laid off."
Elmo is at a loss for words. "Just like that? Elmo's been working at Sesame Street for 32 years. Elmo... Elmo...'
'Elmo, the Trump administration is gutting ALL arts and education funding from the new congressional budget.'
There's even a jab at Trumpcare, with HR informing the now-unemployed Elmo that he might want to get government healthcare while he still can. Elmo asks 'but what about the kids?' 'They have YouTube, Elmo!' comes the reply.
The most heartbreaking moment comes when Elmo goes to leave. 'Leave the puppet,' the puppeteer is told, before a man comes and removes Elmo from his puppeteer, leaving him lifeless on the table.
Further on-screen text reminds us to call our representatives to tell them to save PBS. Go on, do it for Elmo.
As the Washington Post reports, this is not the first time Sesame Street characters have taken aim at the villainous Ronald/Donald Grump, with his penchant for flashy real estate and short-temper. They have compiled his three appearances into a hilarious video:
Just try to get these lyrics out of your head:
'Who do you wish you all could be?'
'I'm the trashiest!'
'I'm the grouchiest!'
Screenshots via What's Trending video
More from BUST