No, Pampers isn’t banning Sesame Street characters for being ‘too masculine’

U.S. & World
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CHICAGO – APRIL 27: Procter & Gamble-brand Pampers diapers sit on a drugstore shelf April 27, 2005 in Chicago, Illinois. The price of diapers is set to rise this summer as manufacturers pass on higher production costs including such unique diaper materials as adhesives and super absorbents. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — You may have see the news spreading on social media. The reports claim Pampers has kicked Elmo, Big Bird and the Cookie Monster to the curb due to alleged complaints from parents of there being too many male characters on diapers.

Well don’t worry. Pampers says those reports are false. At the same time, diapers with the Sesame Street characters also might be harder to find.

The rumors started after a parent told the New York Post she noticed new generic designs on the Pampers she buys for her child. That parent claimed she called Procter & Gamble’s customer service line, and a representative told her the company was switching designs on diapers due to complaints about gender equality.

“The Pampers rep said … parents who have daughters thought that the ‘Sesame Street’ characters are too masculine,” that parent told The Post.

But a spokesperson with P&G, who owns the Pampers line, says that simply is not true.

“The story speculating on our decision to make graphic changes based on gender is inaccurate,” P&G spokesperson Laura Dressman told PEOPLE. “As a proud partner of Sesame Street for over 15 years, we love featuring Sesame Street’s iconic characters on our Pampers Baby Dry diapers.”

Dressmen also added that the company has “always included a range of Sesame’s characters — male and female (although we know from research that children love the characters equally). This includes Elmo, Zoe, Cookie, Rosita, Big Bid, and Oscar among others.”

The spokesperson did confirm that Pampers is rolling out new designs on diapers based on market research. P&G says the new designs are in addition to existing Sesame Street artwork found on the brand’s popular Baby Dry line of diapers.

“As part of our ongoing research with parents, we have heard a growing desire for variety within the Pampers diaper lines, so we recently introduced new colorful graphics on our Swaddlers and Cruisers diapers,” Dressmen told PEOPLE. “This allows us to offer new designs across our entire portfolio, including the beloved Sesame Street characters.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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