After five months of achieving celebrity status in a foreign country, Big Bird, Elmo, and the rest of the Sesame Street gang are leaving Pakistan on a sour note. The U.S. has ceased funding a $20 million project to make a Pakistani version of the popular children’s show after a Pakistani newspaper accused the local puppet theater, working in collaboration with the show’s developers, of corruption. The paper reported that the Rafi Peer Theater Workshop was using U.S. money for the show to pay off old debts, which the workshop has denied. The U.S. funded the show in an attempt to improve education in a country where a third of primary-school-age children aren’t in school.
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