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Video of Elmo getting laid off goes viral

Posted at 11:43 PM, Mar 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-22 23:43:33-04

After President Donald Trump's proposed budget was released last week showing the elimination of funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, supporters of public broadcasting filmed a scene depicting Elmo getting fired after 32 years on the job. 

Elmo is a notable character from the hit children's show Sesame Street, which has been on PBS since its inception in 1969.

The video has been viewed more than 12 millions times. The video featured a parody Elmo, played by Jeremy Olenski.

"Elmo's only real talent is being Elmo," the parody Elmo retorts after being laid off. Elmo was then informed fellow Sesame Street characters Cookie Monster and Telly Monster were also laid off. 

The video ends with a plea for constituents to contact their representatives to save PBS' funding. 

According to the budget released by Trump, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's federal funding would go from $445 million a year to $0. Federal funding has historically been divided to local PBS and NPR stations. 

The federal money that PBS and NPR receive is just a fraction of the total cost to run the networks. According to the pro-PBS group Advocating for America's Public Television Stations, 27 percent of funding comes from the government. Other funds comes from corporate and individual donors. 

Proponents of cutting PBS' funding say the cuts are needed to cut costs to tax payers. 

"When you start looking at the places that will reduce spending, one of the questions we asked was 'Can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs?' And the answer was no,” White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney said on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe."

Opponents say that PBS provides programming for those without access to quality educational TV programs. 

"There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media’s educational and informational programming and services," Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, said. "The elimination of federal funding to CPB would initially devastate and ultimately destroy public media’s role in early childhood education, public safety, connecting citizens to our history and promoting civil discussions – for Americans in both rural and urban communities."

Despite deep cuts to PBS, Sesame Street would likely live on. Last year, Sesame Street was picked up by the for-profit network HBO, which now airs first-run episodes of Sesame Street. Those episodes are then re-aired on PBS stations at a later date.

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