Big Bird will not be anyone's political puppet.
Sesame Workshop has asked the Obama campaign to take down a new TV ad that prominently features the famous talking bird, in a satirical spot mocking Mitt Romney for calling for an end to PBS subsidies.
"Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down," Sesame Workshop said in a statement.
An Obama campaign official said it has received the request and "will review their concerns."
The statement follows a week of Big Bird saturation in the media and on the campaign trail.
Romney touched off the frenzy when he said at last week's debate he wants to "stop the subsidy to PBS" even though "I like Big Bird."
The line took off on Twitter. "Saturday Night Live" included a Big Bird bit. Obama has repeatedly mocked Romney for the line in his post-debate stump speeches. And the Obama campaign ad released Monday featured a menacing voiceover warning of Romney's anti-Big Bird agenda.
"Big, yellow, a menace to our economy. Mitt Romney knows it's not Wall Street you have to worry about, it's Sesame Street," the voiceover says. "Mitt Romney, taking on our enemies no matter where they nest."
The Romney campaign said its rivals were distracting from bigger issues.
"Four years ago, President Obama said that if you don't have a record to run on, 'you make a big election about small things.' With 23 million people struggling for work, incomes falling, and gas prices soaring, Americans deserve more from their president," spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said.