Word spread last week that three longtime castmembers would no longer need to know how to get to Sesame Street. And today the CEO of the nonprofit group behind the show addressed what he called the “misunderstanding” about Bob McGrath, Emilio Delgado and Roscoe Orman being let go after more than 40 years each on the kids staple.
McGrath, an original castmember from Sesame Street‘s 1969 launch, spilled the news early last month, and the media caught on over the weekend. (Delgado had been on the show since 1971, and Orman joined three years later.) In a Facebook post today, Sesame Workshop CEO Jeff Dunn apologized for the way the respective actors behind singer/music teacher Bob, handyman Luis and schoolteacher Gordon were let go.
“We apologize for the misunderstandings around the changing cast roles at Sesame Street,” Dunn wrote. “Over more than 40 seasons, Bob McGrath, Emilio Delgado and Roscoe Orman have made enormous contributions to both television and to the lives of preschoolers. They are, and always will be, a key part of the Sesame family.”
He went on to address reasons for the move by the show which began airing on HBO in January after 45 years on PBS. But the exec also sounded like the cardboard book might not be closed on McGrath, Delgado and Orman, writing, “I have been in touch with each of them to meet in person about how we best adapt their talents to the current content needs and preschool media landscape, in a way that honors their historic contributions.” Read the full Facebook post below.
As for some of the other longtime Sesame Street castmembers: Loretta Long, who has played Susan for Sesame Street‘s entire run, will continue on the series, and Sonia Manzano, who had played Maria on the show since 1971, retired last year.