|Born||1972 (age 42–43)
|Education||Tisch School of the Arts|
Martinez has appeared in a number of theater plays, including roles in Caesar and Cleopatra at Cocteau Repertory and in a verse play, The Death of Don Flagrante Delicto, written by Kirk Wood Bromley.
Good Night Show dismissal
In the summer of 2000, Martinez was cast to play the role of a student in two 30-second videos, I Have a Future (filmed in July 2000) and Boys Can Wait (filmed in February 2001). Both short films spoofed abstinence-only public service announcements. In July 2006, PBS Kids Sprout terminated Martinez as host of the Good Night Show when it learned of these videos, which it deemed "inappropriate for her role as a preschool host."
Michael Getler, a Public Broadcasting Service ombudsman, criticized the decision; writing that "it would have been a greater bow to freedom of expression and against guilt by association for the program and PBS to stick by her", stating "it struck me as ironic that at the very time PBS is fighting against new Federal Communications Commission rulings about indecency that the network argues will inhibit documentary filmmakers and freedom of speech, it delivers a subjective punishment to a popular performer for something done seven years ago that was clearly a spoof". PBS President Paula Kerger defended the decision saying "what we are looking for in the host of Sprout is someone that is really representative of PBS and Sesame and kids' entertainment. She's not an actress--she really is supposed to embody the service itself."
In an August 5, 2006 article on the front page of the Arts Section of The New York Times, Martinez says: "I've done lots of roles and worn many costumes. I did not think a spoof P.S.A. would come up like this again."
In popular media
The controversy was featured in a number of novels, including NY Times bestseller The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot by Naomi Wolf; Why We're Liberals A Political Handbook for Post-Bush America by Eric Alterman and Real World Media Ethics: Inside The Broadcast and Entertainment Industries by Philippe Perebinossoff.
- Schoenberg, Nara (2006-07-28). "Anger sprouts online to Good Night Show firing". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
- "Review of Caesar and Cleopatra".
- Russo, Francine (8 November 2000). "Sightlines: "A Final Act"". The Village Voice.
- Jensen, Elizabeth (2006-08-05). "PBS Firing of Host of 'The Good Night Show' Draws Protests". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
- Getler, Michael (2006-08-03). "More About Melanie". PBS. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
- Getler, Michael (2006-07-26). "A Deadly Summer, and It Isn't Over Yet". PBS. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
- Gold, Matea (2006-07-26). "PBS head backs host's firing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-01-29.