Pampers denied claims that it has been removing “Sesame Street” characters from its diapers because there aren’t enough female characters on display.
Pampers reportedly removed Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch from most of its products, according to the New York Post on Sunday.
Procter & Gamble, the diaper brand’s parent company, however, denied this alleged move was regarding gender concerns in a statement.
“The story speculating on our decision to make graphic changes based on gender is inaccurate,” spokeswoman Laura Dressman told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement.
Dressman also did not confirm or deny the characters would be removed altogether, but did say the company loves featuring the children’s program’s “iconic characters.”
“As a proud partner of Sesame Street for over 15 years, we love featuring Sesame Street’s iconic characters on our Pampers Baby Dry diapers. We’ve always included a range of Sesame’s characters — male and female (although we know from research that children love the characters equally). This includes Elmo, Zoe, Cookie, Rosita, Big Bird, and Oscar among others.”
Pampers’ customer Susie Wong-Benjamin told the Post she thought she had purchased fake products after receiving diapers lacking the “Sesame Street” characters, replaced by a generic brand stamp.
“The Pampers rep said … parents who have daughters thought that the ‘Sesame Street’ characters are too masculine,” Wong-Benjamin told the Post.
“I thought this could be something made in China — like something you’d buy at the dollar store,” Wong-Benjamin said. “I mean, who puts a camera on a diaper?”
“Sesame Street” spokeswoman Beatrice Chow responded to the Post’s question about why the characters would no longer appear on Pampers with a reply linking a year-old press release titled “P&G and Sesame Street partner to promote gender equality.” (RELATED: Elmo Tells CNN That Refugee Kids Are Like Kids In America)
“We talk to thousands of parents every year to understand how our diapers are best meeting their babies’ needs and any new trends they might be interested in,” Dressman told the Post. “We learned there was a growing desire from Moms and Dads for modern, fresh graphics.” (RELATED: New Sesame Street Puppet Has A Father In Prison)
The children’s show moved to HBO in 2015 after the company harnessed a five-year deal with the cable network.
“Sesame Street” did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment in time for press.
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