"The Muppets" director has spoken out against accusation that his movie is spreading an anti-corporate message to American children. Addressing the recent criticism when talking to The Hollywood Reporter at the premiere of the family film during the 2011 Dubai Film Festival, James Bobin insisted that Kermit and co. are not communist.
"It's a very strange turn of events to hear a question like that. Cable news is 24 hours long so you have to fill it up with something. No, the Muppets are not communist," Bobin responded to question whether the Muppets are communists. "And the character of Tex Richman is not an allegory for capitalism in any way."
About Chris Cooper's villainous character, who has become the center of the controversy, the British filmmaker said, "The character is called Tex Richman. It's a joke." He continued, "Clearly he is a classic, old school bad guy. He's bad not because he works for an oil company but because he's evil. No, it's not a communist movie in any way."
The communist accusation came from Fox Business Network host Eric Bolling. Hosting a 7-minute segment on "Follow the Money" last Friday, December 2, he accused the kid-friendly movie of brainwashing children with an "anti-corporate message" through the appearance of Tex Richman.
While introducing first guest Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center, Bolling said, "The Muppets are back and being terrorized by an evil oil executive in their new movie. Liberal Hollywood depicting a successful businessman as 'evil,' that's not new' " He continued, "We're teaching our kids class warfare. Where are we, communist China?"
"The Muppets" has opened wide in U.S. theaters since November 23. In the movie, the puppet gang must team up with Jason Segel and Amy Adams to stop Tex Richman's evil plan to raze the Muppet Theater and drill for the oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets' former stomping grounds.