So, this has been something talked about many times before (including on this site with these great articles), but I want to bring it up. Something that's been prevalent for The Muppets since The Muppet Show is the lack of primary female Muppets, very few notable women behind the scenes, and especially primary female Muppet performers. I'm not sure if you could call The Muppets franchise sexist, but it's something that's still persisting to this day. Think about it. When you think about female Muppets, the first ones you think of are either Ms Piggy or Janice, and that's it. Their primary performers are both men (Frank Oz and Eric Jacobson for the former & Richard Hunt and David Rudman for the latter). While neither are one note, most of Janice's character is tied to Electric Mayhem, and with Piggy, it's either her diva personality or her relationship with Kermit. Even Gonzo's chickens have male performers like Matt Vogel. Plus, how many female Muppets have had a major presence in more than 2 projects?
The 2015 ABC Muppets series did try to make some strides, but Denise was mostly defined by her relationship with Kermit (unlike Piggy), and while Yolanda the rat received a somewhat bigger role, she hasn't done much since the show ended. As for behind the scenes, there haven't been that many female writers or producers . As for puppeteers, how many PRIMARY performers can you associate with The Muppets? Not much. The closest would probably be Julianne Buescher (Denise and Yolanda), but even she's more associated with projects outside the Muppets.
It's often mentioned how Sesame Street has a much better grasp on female representation, and I completely agree. I mean, with major characters like Prairie Dawn, Rosita, Abby, Zoe, Grundgetta, and Julia (as well as some recurring characters like Curly Bear and Goldilocks, although they've been more downplayed recently), you have a show where girls have characters that they can relate to on some level. They're also all performed by women. Plus, look at some of the female writers on the show: to name a few, we have Christine Ferraro, Geri Cole, Jessica Carleton, Raye Lankford, and Liz Hara.
Even outside of Sesame Street, there are still puppetry shows that have a better job with female representation. For example, Julie's Greenroom has 3 of the Greenies performed by women (Peri, Fizz, and Riley, the latter being non-binary), all of whom have their own distinct personalities. One of the show's writers is also female, Alex Rockwell, from the Jim Henson Company. Between The Lions is co-created by Kathryn Mullen, which focuses on a family of lions (with Leo the father, Cleo the mother, Lionel the son, and Leona the daughter). Cleo and Leona are also performed by women (Jennifer Barnhart for the former and Kathryn Mullen & later Pam Arciero for the latter). Even Helpsters, which is created by a man (Tim McKeon) still has significant female representation. Three of the Helpsters (Cody, Heart, and Jackie) are female and all performed by women (Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Ingrid Hansen, and Jennifer Barnhart). Many of the show's writers and producers are female, including Liz Hara (writer/producer) (Sesame Street), Laurie Israel (writer) (Sofia The First, Fancy Nancy), Amy Keating Rogers (writer) (My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, TOTS), as well as the writing duo of Alex Fox & Rachel Lewis (writers/producers) (The Stinky And Dirty Show, Vampirina).
Now let's talk about Muppet Babies 2018. While it's more male skewing (male showrunner, male director, more male characters), there's still plenty of elements that make the show more accommodating to females, both in the show and behind the scenes. Piggy and Summer both have female voice actors (Melanie Harrison and Jessica DiCicco respectively, with the former also voicing Camilla). Skeeter herself actually has a female voice actor (Cree Summer), unlike the original Muppet Babies, where she's voiced by adult men. As for behind the scenes, there's plenty. Robyn Brown wrote the most amount of episodes in season 1. As of season 2, she's the story editor. When looking on her LinkedIn, it's revealed she'll be a co-producer in season 3. As for other female writers, we have Ghia Godfree (with this show being the first show she ever wrote for), Laura Sreenby (mainly in season 1, but she's written a bit for season 2), and we have the sibling writing duo of Melanie Lobracio Wilson and Adam Wilson (Adam is male, but it felt weird to bring only one of them up). The show's voice director is also a woman (Collette Sunderman). There have also been some one shots from Chelsea Beyl and Claudia Silver (who's worked on Bear In The Big Blue House and The Book Of Pooh). It's too bad this isn't recognized by the public at large.
And that's all I have to say. The Muppets don't have the best reputation with female representation. Why is that? What do you think can be done to fix this?