Man, Kermit was right.
It ain't easy bein' green.
Disney+, the streaming service of the megabucks mouse house, continues to add content to its lineup.
Friday, the latest addition from the Mickey Mouse-eared bigwigs was "The Muppet Show," the original TV series from the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The whole crew's there. Kermit, his squeeze Miss Piggy, the erstwhile jokester that was Fozzy Bear. Gonzo and his chicken addiction. Even gruff old hecklers Stadler and Waldorf, who sat in the balcony and mocked everyone they could.
But there is a new addition to that beloved collection of characters.
It's the warning label at the start of 18 episodes: "This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures," it 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."
OK. Are we talking the Swedish Chef and his nonsensical chatter? Is it the scientist assistant Beeker, who can only offer various iterations of "Meep, meep, meep" to every situation?
As it turns out, of the 18 episodes that earned a disclaimer, Disney only addressed one. It's an episode hosted by Johnny Cash in season five. It's not because Cash was The Man in Black. Cash did a musical performance with a Confederate flag in the background.
The disclaimer is the addendum du jour. A preemptive warning label that serves as the umbrella from the social media rain that becomes major storms in 140 characters or fewer.
Still, if it's worthy of a disclaimer, shouldn't it be worthy of a discussion about why Disney deemed the disclaimer needed? I think so.
You can argue, as crazy as this seems, that adding the disclaimer is better than some previous decisions prompted by social justice troopers and the PC police, who have twisted the arms of some content providers to cancel classics such as "Gone With the Wind" and other shows from different eras.
Disney's disclaimer at least allows the content to stay in circulation, but the ever-moving invisible line that no one is to cross is hard to discern.
In truth, I believe the desires for disclaimers tell more about us today than people back then. Is it because we are overly sensitive — and worried about being canceled — or making strides in terms of inclusion and tolerance?
Disney is making a shrewd move here. It is satisfying the social justice warriors and its bottom line — the clichéd win-win. Slap a disclaimer on what could be deemed offensive material and avoid a social media call to boycott the service. And the content stays in circulation, which makes the mouse house big bucks.
Maybe Disney knows it's easier to make the green than being green. As long as Kermit has a disclaimer, that is.
Contact Jay Greeson at firstname.lastname@example.org.