Relationships

Sesame Street tackles divorce for the first time

Dec. 13, 2012 at 11:07 AM ET

Hard to believe, but after more than 40 years on the air, "Sesame Street" has never tackled the topic of divorce.

Until now. Sesame Workshop has produced a special, online-only episode in which Abby Cadabby talks about her parents' divorce, how she splits her time between her mom and dad, and her "big feelings" about it all.

"We've always had a social component where we try to address issues in kids' lives," Susan Scheiner of Sesame Workshop told TODAY. In 1992, Sesame Street scripted and shot a show about Snuffleupagus's parents divorcing. But when they tested it with preschoolers, some were so upset they cried. It never aired.

Child psychiatrist Josh Weiner says the video could be a useful tool. "I think it really creates a great vehicle for parents and kids to be able to sit down in the comfort of their own homes, watch the videos online and really be able to talk about things."

Advertising executive Donny Deutsch told TODAY on The Professionals panel that he was shocked it took Sesame Workshop so long to talk openly about divorce. "Are you kidding me? Let's not give them kudos for this. Where have you been the last 25 years?"

The divorce web episode is available online at SesameStreet.org.

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