Cookie Monster Frank Oz Sesame Street
Cookie Monster on Season 54 of Sesame Street. Credit: Sesame Workshop / Max

The Cookie Monster weighing in on shrinkflation? Politics on Sesame Street is a bridge too far for Frank Oz, the film director, Muppet veteran and former voice of Cookie Monster.

Responding to a tweet on Monday from the Cookie Monster’s official account that said, “Me hate shrinkflation! Me cookies are getting smaller,” Oz said that Muppets creator Jim Henson wouldn’t have let the lovable puppets get so political.

“I’m shocked to see a news article on Cookie Monster talking about ‘shrinkflation’. Jim would NEVER have allowed this,” Oz wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The SS Muppets need to live in their own pure world. Not our world. What has happened to the integrity of the character and the integrity of Sesame Workshop?”

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, shrinkflation refers to when the amount of a product decreases, but its cost stays the same. Concerns about inflation are among the concerns President Biden tried to address Thursday in his State of the Union – so Cookie Monster was certainly timely.

Oz joined Jim Henson to work as a puppeteer on the Muppets back in 1963, and served not only as as the voice of Cookie Monster but also as Bert and Grover.

On The Muppet Show, he voiced Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, and Sam Eagle. He was also the puppeteer and voice behind Yoda in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back , 1983’s Return of the Jedi, 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, and 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Frank Oz Cookie Monster
Frank Oz and The Cookie Monster on CBC in 1976. Credit: CBC

Oz added wrote Thursday: “I realize now what happened. My head and heart are still in the Sesame Street that existed when Joan Cooney was active in it and when Jim and Jon Stone were alive, and when I was still performing on it.  But I have not kept up with it for years. I guess it’s changed,” he wrote, remembering the early days of Sesame Street working with Sesame Workshop creator and television producer Joan Cooney, late Sesame Street crew member Jon Stone, and Muppets creator Jim Henson.

When another X user pointed out that Sesame Street has gotten political before — questioning whether they really exist in their “own pure world” — Oz reconsidered his stance about Cookie’s politics, somewhat.

“Their own pure world. Like when Jesse Jackson was on the street in 1971. Or when Barbara Bush dropped by in 1990. Or when Gina and Savion were victims of hate crime stalking. Or when Grump Tower was (approriately enough) being made out of garbage in 1988,” the X user wrote.

“I understand what you’re pointing out. Yes, the real world needs to come to Sesame Street. But that doesn’t mean that The Muppet characters need to react in a real-world way.  The Muppet characters’ reactions need to rise from their own naive and pure world,” Oz replied early Friday morning.

Also Read: Larry David ‘Attacks’ Elmo on Today, Earns Rebuke: ‘You’ve Gone Too Far This Time!’

Oz isn’t the only one who responded to the Cookie Monster’s tweet — even the White House replied with thoughts.

“C is for consumers getting ripped off. President Biden is calling on companies to put a stop to shrinkflation,” the official White House account tweeted on Monday.

“It’s called shrinkflation,” Biden said in his address. “You get charged the same amount and you got about, I don’t know, 10% fewer Snickers in it.”

And Cookie Monster isn’t the only Sesame Street character who’s been in the news lately. Larry David went viral in February for getting into a tustle with Elmo on The Today Show.

The two were both guests on the morning talk show, with David there to promote the final season of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Elmo on to discuss mental health. David saw a comic opportunity when he crashed Elmo’s interview, grabbed his face and gouged one of his eyes. Elmo’s father, Louie, helplessly looked on.

Later, David made amends with Elmo, saying, “Elmo, I just want to apologize,” David said, breaking into laughter. “I’m really sorry.”

Elmo kindly forgave him. “Thank you, Larry,” Elmo replied. “Elmo accepts your apology.”

Main Image: Frank Oz and the Cookie Monster on CBC in 1976. Credit: CBC.