NPR

Mister Rogers Talked Frankly With Kids About 'Grown-Up' Issues That Weren't

Filmmaker Morgan Neville says he gets asked one question more than any other: Was Fred Rogers as nice as he appeared on TV? Won't You Be My Neighbor? answers that question with an emphatic yes.
Along with his trusty puppet, Daniel Tiger, Fred Rogers explained a complex world to kids in terms they could understand. His goal, says filmmaker Morgan Neville, was to "allay fear and promote love." Source: Focus Features

It's hard to imagine anyone sending hate mail to Fred Rogers, but there was one episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood that brought the beloved children's TV star a bit of blowback: "He did an episode about Santa Claus," explains filmmaker Morgan Neville. "And he didn't like the idea that there was somebody who snuck into your house in the middle of the night ... so he told kids the truth ... and a lot of parents wrote a lot of angry letters."

Santa aside, Rogers generally flew "under the radar," Neville says, even when he was engaging kids in conversations that some adults considered

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