Billy Porter responds to backlash over Sesame Street appearance

Billy Porter at the 2019 Oscars

Billy Porter has responded to backlash relating to his upcoming appearance on Sesame Street.

The Pose star, who is a vocal member of the LGBTQ+ community and known for his flamboyant style, will re-wear the black Christian Siriano tuxedo gown he sported to the 2019 Oscars during an instalment of the popular children's show set to air later this year.

However, some critics were unhappy with the announcement, including Jason Rapert, a Republican member of the Arkansas State Senate, who asked in a post on Facebook, "Do you approve of your taxpayer dollars being used to promote the radical LGBTQ agenda?"

A petition calling for the episode to be pulled has since circulated, with those behind the document accusing producers of the programme of trying to "sexualise children using drag queens".

Yet, in a chat with the New York Post's Page Six, Porter hit back, insisting: "If you don't like it, don't watch it."

He also noted that he believed it was unusual for people to make the leap from his tuxedo dress to "perverted demon sex".

"Like, what about me singing with a penguin (puppet, on the show) has anything to do with what I'm doing in my bedroom?" the 50-year-old fired. "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 have sex. "Stay out of my bedroom and you will be fine - that is none of your business."

Sesame Street has always been at the forefront of promoting key cultural issues, and notably featured one of the first televised scenes of breastfeeding back in 1977.

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