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B is for bye. And M is for mad.
The decision by HBO Max to remove roughly 200 episodes of Sesame Street from its platform sparked outrage from many viewers on social media Friday as the series became the latest victim of the streaming platform’s purge to make room for other content as it merges with Discovery+ by summer 2023.
In a statement, a spokesperson for HBO Max told BuzzFeed News that Sesame Street “is and has always been an important part of television culture and a crown jewel of our preschool offering.”
“We are committed to continuing to bring Sesame Street into families’ homes, including the newest season premiering this fall and the nearly 400 episodes of the most current and historic seasons that remain on Cartoonito on HBO Max,” the spokesperson added.
Before Friday, HBO Max offered more than 600 episodes of Sesame Street, including those from earlier seasons. But now the streaming service only offers about 400 episodes, most of them from the later seasons.
Warner Bros. Discovery is looking to cut $3 billion in costs as a result of the merger. CNBC, citing people familiar with the decision, reported that Sesame Street just isn’t generating strong numbers. Spinoff The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo has also fallen victim to the cuts.
Fans — or rather the parents of fans of Sesame Street — took the news hard and made their displeasure known on social media.