Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational production company behind Sesame Street, has called on President Barack Obama to end a campaign ad featuring Big Bird, one of the children's TV program's most enduring characters.
Sesame Workshop issued a statement politely asking that the television ad that mockingly refers to Big Bird as a 'big, yellow menace to the economy' be discontinued.
'We do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns,' Sesame Workshop said.
'We have approved no campaign ads, and, as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down.'
Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the campaign had received the request and was reviewing it.
The tall, yellow-feathered character, who has belonged to the family of Sesame Street characters for decades, became a subject in the presidential campaign when Republican challenger Mitt Romney said during the October 3 debate that he would cut funding to the network, which is home to the children's show.
The 43-year-old Sesame Street airs on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), which receives federal support.
'I like PBS. I love Big Bird,' Romney said during the debate. 'But I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.'
Psaki, speaking to reporters on Air Force en route to Ohio, said that while Obama would 'continue to fight for Big Bird,' the election was about serious issues.
She compared Romney's proposals to a 'vapid collection' of policies employed by President George W Bush that would lead the country back to into economic crisis.
Ninety-nine per cent of Obama's remarks are about fighting for the middle class, Psaki said, while Romney - given the opportunity to lay out how he would address the deficit - offered to cut funding for Big Bird.
The hard-nosed attack ad compares Big Bird to corporate criminals prosecuted for financial misdeeds. The announcer then sarcastically mocks Romney over his remark.
'Big, yellow, a menace to our economy,' the announcer says.
'Mitt Romney knows it's not Wall Street you have to worry about, it's Sesame Street.'