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'Sesame Street' Looking to Bring Back Senior Cast Members After Uproar

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(L-R) AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon, Emilio Delgado of 'Sesame Street,' musician Sam Moore, AFTRA National Executive Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, Roscoe Orman of 'Sesame Stree't and Bob McGrath of 'Sesame Street' attend the 2010 AFTRA AMEE Awards  (Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for AFTRA)

One of the senior cast members of Sesame Street who was recently cut from the beloved kids’ television series announced on social media Friday that the show’s producers are looking into bringing him and two other actors back.

Roscoe Orman, who has played the character Gordon on the show since 1974, made the announcement on Facebook, which was shared by fellow cast member Emilio Delgado (who played Luis):

https://www.facebook.com/emilio.delgado.5851/posts/10206628612698115

Sesame Workshop, which produces Sesame Street, reached out to Orman, Delgado and original cast member Bob McGrath (who played the role of Bob) after The Muppetcast reported Wednesday that they had been released from their contracts earlier this year. The story lead to an outcry from thousands of longtime viewers, resulting in this statement being released by Sesame Workshop Thursday:

Bob McGrath, Emilio Delgado (“Luis”) and Roscoe Orman (“Gordon”) remain a beloved part of the Sesame family and continue to represent us at public events. To us, and for millions of people worldwide, they are a treasured part of Sesame Street. Since the show began, we are constantly evolving our content and curriculum, and hence, our characters, to meet the educational needs of children. As a result of this, our cast has changed over the years, though you can still expect to see many of them in upcoming productions. As we’ve stated previously, Sesame Workshop retains sole creative control over the show. HBO does not oversee the production.

Many critics blamed Sesame Workshop’s deal with HBO for cutting the veteran members, as it coincided with a major re-tooling of the show. As a result of the deal, the show was shortened from an hour to 30 minutes, and its content started to focus on teaching more socially-applicable skills to children such as “self-regulation” and “executive function.”

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Follow this story as it will be updated as KQED learns more details.

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