Sesame Street’s Newest Character Tackles Opioid Addiction

Some people might be shaking their heads while others might be nodding them instead in understanding the issue of Karli on Sesame Street and the struggle she’s having to go through as her mom is suffering from an opioid addiction. Sesame Street has certainly taken on a lot of twists and turns throughout the years, but as Bethany Guerrero of ScreenRant has confirmed it’s never really shied away from topics that others might consider too controversial for a kids show. There are, without a doubt, a lot of people out there that would find this absolutely wrong on so many levels and might even ban Sesame Street in their home because of this, I’ll admit that it seems like something that kids shouldn’t have to deal with when it comes to their shows either, but one thing about Sesame Street is that they don’t tend to bring subjects like this to light for absolutely no reason, and they don’t do it just to get views. This show usually seeks to inform people, and kids mainly in this instance, that the ‘grown-up problems’ that their parents are facing are not their fault, and in fact have nothing to do with anything they’ve done or said. In that light it becomes a little more acceptable since this is for the benefit of those kids who, by no fault of their own, have been thrust into hardships that no child needs to experience.

Melissa Locker of Time sounds as though she’s firmly behind this idea, and truthfully it’s hard to not agree with such a sentiment. It’s very true that back in our day if Sesame Street had tried this there’s a good chance that a lot of parents would have been up in arms and might have even written in to get the show taken off the air. To be honest that wouldn’t have happened as you can imagine that a lot of people would have fought for a compromise at the very least, but this is unfortunately what happens when some adults are presented with the facts as they’re seen from a different point of view. It’s true, kids shouldn’t have to deal with the issues that adults bring upon themselves and, by extension, those that are a part of their lives. But life isn’t a fair concept all the time and it’s not bound to spare anyone when the decisions made by those in charge are seen to affect those that have no say in one matter or another. Karli, along with many children, are those that are seen as the unfortunates that become collateral damage when an addiction takes hold and when the effects of it are allowed to continually worsen until there’s no other choice but to remove a child from a home and try to help them to understand that nothing of what happened is their fault. Many kids suffer depression and other negative feelings that can take hold and in a sense ruin their young lives as they continue to grow and develop. Sesame Street at least attempts, and in many ways succeeds, to show children that are stuck in such situations that they’ve done nothing to deserve this and have not contributed in any way to the destruction that their parents have brought to their family and home.

One of the best lessons a child can learn in these cases, and this is where Sesame Street shines, is that they are not to blame. It’d be nice to say that there will always be someone there to care for them and to take care of them, as there is in Karli’s case, but the world as we know it isn’t fair and there are a lot of kids that become products of the system and therefore don’t experience a full and satisfying existence. The show is geared to present one case to children to let them know in a very fundamental way that regardless of what happens in their parent’s or guardian’s life, no matter the decisions they make, it’s not the fault of the child in any way, shape or form. Through the use of foster parents, good friends, and a great deal of understanding, patience, and caring, Karli has thus far been shown to be a very strong character that is a role model for kids that might feel as though there’s no one in the world that can understand and no way they can ever live a normal life. Sophie Lewis of CBS News has, along with many others, done her best to explain just why this is so important. The parents that condemn this character and Sesame Street for bringing this issue to light might be those that want to shield their children from this part of the world, and that’s their right since no one in their right mind would want to deal with something as devastating as an opioid addiction. But for those kids that don’t have that option this program has done a great service as it reminds them that no matter what, it’s not their fault, and that life can go on.

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