On Tuesday, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez poked fun at Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson on Twitter for his segment about Sesame Street. A clip for Carlson's show went viral, apparently revealing that he did a whole segment about representation on the children's show. Ocasio-Cortez laughed at the idea of "Elmo being Antifa."
Carlson aired a clip from Sesame Street, which apparently sought to address the issues of racism in the United States. In it, a puppet that resembled Elmo explained to him: "across the country, people of color — especially in the Black community — are being treated unfairly because of how they look." Afterwards: Carlson offered his own interpretation of the scene. "Got that, Bobby?" he said, apparently addressing a hypothetical Sesame Street viewer. "America is a very bad place, and it's your fault. So no matter what happens, no matter what they do to you when you grow up, you have no right to complain. That's the message, and it starts very young."
Everyone in the streets combating racism has Tucker “Chicken Heir” Carlson so mad he’s accusing Elmo of being Antifa 😂 https://t.co/ITyE03NI5y— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 10, 2020
As the clip went viral, Ocasio-Cortez retweeted it, adding a crying-laughing emoji in her response. "Everyone in the streets combating racism has Tucker 'Chicken Heir' Carlson so mad he's accusing Elmo of being Antifa," she observed.
Ocasio-Cortez's response got over 159,000 likes, and plenty of retweets and responses as well. Many viewers were as amused as she was, marveling at how "dramatic" Carlson was being in his interpretation of a children's show. Others responded with real surprise and criticism of Carlson's rhetoric, saying: "you know you're the villain of the story when one of your main enemies is Elmo."
According to a report by Forbes, advertisers have also been put off by Carlson's recent outrages. The outlet found that businesses have been pulling their advertisements from Carlson's show, suggesting that they were "keen to distance themselves from the man who, somehow, found a reason to get angry at Elmo." Fox News responded by saying that all national dollars and ads were moved from Carlson's show to other programs, so no money was technically lost for the network.
Carlson is getting criticism from every side, including late night hosts who have been poking fun at him recently as well. On HBO's Last Week Tonight, John Oliver has dedicated several moments to Carlson for the last two Sundays, condemning his response to the Black Lives Matter protests around the country in the last few weeks. On June 14, he even picked on Carlson's Sesame Street speech.
"That unspecified 'they' in 'what they do to you when you grow up' is doing a lot of heavy lifting there," Oliver observed. "There's basically two options for what that could mean. One, that Tucker and his viewers have benefited from a racist system that renders any specifications of who they are unnecessary; or two, that his show is a badly written piece of garbage."