Parents Protest On Facebook: Even More TV Drama

Several months ago, I posted about the Nick Jr.Gate Facebook Saga that rocked the nation. (Just kidding; nobody paid any attention and a bunch of parents wasted a lot of time complaining on Facebook.) At the crux of Nick Jr.Gate was a well-loved segment called ‘Moose and Zee’ that had recently been taken out of the programming rotation. Parents hemmed and hawed about how much they hated Nick Jr. for disappointing their children and “firing” Moose and Zee. How could a network do such a thing? Especially without sending out official notices and emails and taking out highway billboards first to prepare families for the emotional catastrophe that lay ahead? It was an absolute outrage, and parents said they were packing up their remote controls and heading straight to Disney Jr. and/or Sprout. END OF STORY! 

Since then, two things happened. First, there was a nine-day feud between Viacom and DirecTV in which many parents said the exact opposite of those Nick Jr.Gate battle cries. Even the New York Times covered the subject. Parents whose children were denied access to Nick Jr. were flummoxed as to how to explain the temporary programming blackouts, and you bet your ass they complained about it on Facebook.

I couldn’t help but laugh at this reaction, considering Nick Jr.Gate and all of the HARD PROMISES and threats parents had made on Facebook to stop watching Nick Jr., and that’s when I remembered SproutGate. 

SproutGate is something of a follow-up to Nick Jr.Gate, except with more reasonable complaints and slightly less vitriol. It all went down at the end of May/beginning of June, and for a while I didn’t see any real reason to post about it, especially since nothing will ever top Nick Jr.Gate. (You can’t beat a grown man irascibly shouting in all caps, “MOOSE AND ZEE!!! MOOSE AND ZEE!!! MOOSE AND ZEE!!!”) But then the Viacom/DirecTV blackout happened, and it showed me just how impossible to please some parents can be. You can’t win with these people! If it’s not a Moose and a Zee, it’s a Caillou. Which brings me to SproutGate. 

On PBS Kids Sprout, a Canadian show called Caillou was recently advertised as having “new” episodes. Parents whose children love the old episodes rejoiced. Their prayers had been answered. Until, that is, the “new” episodes turned out to be “new” to Sprout, and not new in the Caillou series. Parents were disappointed by this mix-up, as well as enraged by the “new” episodes that paint Caillou as a whiny brat and a bad influence. After that cruel, unexpected letdown, they had no choice but to storm Sprout’s Facebook page to demand answers. What do they want? New Caillou! When do they want it? Yesterday! 

Here are some of the responses and reactions to those “new” shows back in May. The question is, are these parents responsibly voicing their concerns, or are they just freaking out over a stupid kids’ cartoon?

Pretty Much Unacceptable

Typically I’m all for people expressing their views and standing up for what they believe in. But that’s pretty different from scolding a television channel on Facebook.

"This" Version "Sucks"

A few “people” used "unnecessary" quote marks.

TV Injustice

The cycle of programming abuse will not stop. There should be a law against this type of thing!

Getting Worried

Gina doesn’t want to break up with another channel. She’s still recovering from parting ways with Nick Jr. back in March. Do the people at Sprout not realize how difficult that was for kids parents?

Parents Unite

Matt’s got Michelle’s back. (At least someone does.)

Gosh darn trickster McGees. Those crap monsters! Garbage-screening a-holes. :(

Creative Exaggeration

Yeah, Sprout, what’s next? First Caillou has a piss poor attitude, then the next thing you know Barney is rolling at a rave and The Wiggles are playing at a strip joint! 


Nicole thinks she knows what she’s talking about. WRONG. Parents who are upset aren’t that dense, OK? They’ve done their homework.

Teachable Moments

Did Sprout have to walk two miles to school wearing cardboard shoes? Did Sprout try to lick a telephone phone in the middle of winter? Does Sprout even have the ability to deduce WTF is going on?? Didn’t think so. 

Parents Getting Called Out

Monica’s comment may not be as popular as Jackie’s, but she wins a Gold Star in my book.

Protest Momentum

Never give up, parents. Keep fighting the good fight! As long as you’re still bitching, you’re still winning

Paranoid Theories

Jena is so serious, she copied and pasted this rant again exactly one minute later.

That’s right, folks. Disney Jr. and PBS are going to save the day. Just you wait! Nick Jr. has proven its heartlessness, and Sprout has proven its ineptitude, but there’s still hope for Disney Jr. and PBS. In the meantime, absolutely no one likes the “new” Caillou. NOT ONE PERSON.

Well, maybe one person.

(submitted by Anonymous)

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