A PBS station is defending itself after airing a skit featuring a drag queen singing and dancing on a kids' show.
The episode was part of the "Let's Learn" television series, which targets children ages 3-8 and is produced in partnership with WNET and the New York City Department of Education, according to Fox News.
Footage of the skit, which emerged to widespread criticism on social media this week, shows "Lil' Miss Hot Mess" promoting their book "The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish," through song and dance. Twitter users were quick to slam the program, which PBS said was "not funded or distributed by PBS," Fox News reported.
"This is sick and any parent who allows their child to sit and watch this has serious mental issues," one person wrote.
"That song’s ‘demographic’ is 0 to 3 years - It would terrify them and be utterly meaningless. Give. Me. Strength," another noted.
"What in hell is this horror. Why would anyone subject their children to this?" a third added.
Commenting on the program, Lindsey Horvitz of WNET explained that it "strives to incorporate themes that explore diversity and promote inclusivity" that may be relevant to education and society.
"Drag is a performance art that can inspire creative thinking and the questioning of stereotypes," she continued. "Lil Miss Hot Mess is the author of the book, 'The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish.' She serves on the global leadership team of Drag Queen Story Hour and has hosted readings at numerous libraries, children’s museums, and schools across the country."
Lil' Miss Hot Mess, meanwhile, explained that they wrote the book to share the experience of drag.
"I wrote this book because I wanted everyone to get to experience the magic of drag, and to get a little practice shaking their hips or shimmying their shoulders – to know how we can feel fabulous inside of our own bodies," said Lil' Miss Hot Mess.
In New Jersey, community members called an emergency meeting to address a children's story hour that would be led by a drag queen and by Haddonfield Friends of the Library, according to Los Angeles Blade.
A note advertising the meeting and cited by the outlet reported that its agenda was "limited to discussion of, and acting with respect to, the finalization of a diversity, equity, and inclusion policy, which has become necessary due to public statements directed at the Haddonfield Public Library’s upcoming Friends of the Library Drag Queen Story [Time]."
Haddonfield Library Director Eric Zino explained, "when we get questions, we respond in a way that we hope creates interest, or support, or at the very least, understanding. The emergency meeting "was us doing the work that we need to do so that we can make clear affirmations" about the library "being a place for everybody."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.