Billy Porter responds to anti-LGBT backlash against his Sesame Street appearance: ‘If you don’t like it, don’t watch it’

Petition circulated after actor announced he would be wearing a dress on the children’s show

Ellie Harrison
Thursday 06 February 2020 10:25 GMT
Oscars 2019: Billy Porter wears Christian Siriano tuxedo gown

Billy Porter has dismissed critics of his decision to wear his 2019 Oscars dress during his forthcoming appearance on Sesame Street, telling them: “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.”

The state senator of Arkansas, Jason Rapert, was one of those to take part in an anti-LGBT backlash online, after the actor revealed he would be wearing the tuxedo gown on the children’s show.

Rapert ranted on Facebook: “Do you approve of your taxpayer dollars being used to promote the radical LGBTQ agenda?”

A petition to have the episode axed also circulated, accusing the series of trying to “sexualise children using drag queens”.

The petition page states: “By contributing to this social contagion, Sesame Street is forcing children to deal with adult concepts and notions about sexuality which are beyond their level of maturity, and which can leave psychological scars.”

"We are demanding the producers of Sesame Street stop this attack on children and their innocence," said Gualberto Garcia Jones, president of the Personhood Alliance.

Porter has since responded to the criticism, telling Page Six: “Like, what about me singing with a penguin [on the show] has anything to do with what I’m doing in my bedroom?

“The really interesting thing for me is that that’s what it’s all about when it comes to LGBTQ people – the first thing everyone wants to talk about is how we having sex.

“Stay out of my bedroom and you will be fine – that is none of your business.”

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