The Muppet Show is currently streaming on Disney+ with an offensive content disclaimer, warning viewers of potentially offensive material. Originally airing 1976 and 1981, the Muppet-hosted variety show has long been a favorite for fans of all ages, though the series and its subsequent incarnations have always been particularly popular with children.
This week, The Muppet Show made it to Disney+ with all five seasons, but the classic program is now accompanied by the disclaimer.
"This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures," the statement reads. "These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together. Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe."
It isn't specifically stated which scenes from the series deemed the disclaimer necessary, but the series has depicted Native American, Middle Eastern, and Asian characters. There is also a scene in one episode with country singer Johnny Cash performing in front of a Confederate flag, an act that singer Luke Combs just recently issued an apology for.
Putting a disclaimer on the show is not a new practice at Disney+. The streamer had previously put disclaimers at the start of several classic animated movies, warning viewers about "outdated cultural depictions." Last month, Disney+ took it a step further by pulling many of these movies from kids' profiles, such as Dumbo, Peter Pan, The Lady and the Tramp, and The Jungle Book. The titles are still available to watch on adult profiles with a disclaimer.
Meanwhile, there are some episodes missing from the five-season lineup of The Muppet Show on Disney+, but not for these reasons. Fans have noticed that two episodes from season 5, featuring guest stars Brooke Shields and Chris Langham, are not available to watch. Another episode from season 2 with Don Knotts has also been heavily edited. A Disney+ representative recently told EW that this was due to issues in securing the music rights, something that also prevented most of the series from getting released on home video for years.
Created by Jim Henson, The Muppet Show is hosted by Kermit the Frog and features many of his Muppet pals like Miss Piggy, Gonzo the Great, Fozzie Bear, Rowlf the Dog, Scooter, and Animal. Along with Henson, the cast included Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Louise Gold, Steve Whitmire, and Kathryn Mullen. The hit show was nominated for 21 Primetime Emmy Awards with four wins, including a big win in 1978 for Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Series.
With the disclaimer, you can now watch seasons 1-5 of The Muppet Show on Disney+. The newest take on the series, Muppets Now, is also available to watch on the streamer after making its debut last year. The series features a similar variety show format with many special guests, but anyone who prefers the original can fall back on the five seasons of the first incarnation.