Popular children’s program Sesame Street regularly features celebrities in an effort to bring in younger parents and their children as viewers. First Lady Michelle Obama even visited the popular show earlier this year. But their decision to feature risqué singer Katy Perry has backfired in a big way. Perry’s appearance on Sesame Street has been cancelled after irate parents complained. Why are parents objecting? Why all the controversy? Perhaps it was the barely there top the singer sported.
Katy Perry’s Sexy Duet with Elmo Causes Controversy
In the video of the duet between Perry and Elmo, the singer can be seen wistfully singing in a plunging strapless lime green mini dress. Mostly Perry is seen from the side however, about two-thirds of the way into the video, she begins running at the camera full frontal. Let’s just say that little is left to the imagination.
Sesame Street Chops Duet from Season Premier
The duet between Katy Perry and Elmo was posted to YouTube last week by the Children’s Television Workshop in advance of the 41st season premiere of the landmark children’s educational program. However, negative feedback from parents has prompted Sesame Street creators to pull the plug on Perry. In a statement, Sesame Street explained their decision. “In light of the feedback we’ve received…we have decided we will not air the segment on the television broadcast of Sesame Street.”
For her part, Katy Perry has remained upbeat about the controversy her sexy Sesame Street spot has caused. The singer tweeted, “Wow, looks like my play date with Elmo has been cut short!” Perry’s comedian fiancee Russell Brand made light of the scandal in his tweets. “Today’s Sesame Street will NOT be brought to you by the number 34 and the letter D,” Brand joked.
This is not the first time Sesame Street has pulled a segment to protect its young viewers. Following his arrest for beating then girlfriend Rhianna, Chris Brown’s duet with Elmo was shelved.
What Were Sesame Street Creators Thinking?
Sesame Street executive producer Carol-Lynn Parente appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America to weigh in on the controversy. ‘We would never, never produce anything that we thought was inappropriate,” Parente explained. But inappropriate is exactly how many parents see the segment. Interestingly enough, Perry’s dress has a full cape-like fabric back. Had Sesame Street producers seen fit to add a little more fabric to the front of Perry’s top, no one would be talking about this.
Is Sesame Street Headed in a New Direction?
According to E! Online, there may be another Sesame Street controversy brewing for the new season. Sesame Street may be pushing the limits of acceptable preschool viewing with their True Blood parody called True Mud. True Blood is extremely sexually explicit. Why would a children’s program choose such a show to parody? Still, Sesame Street has parodied other adult shows including Mad Men, CSI and 24. Also of note, the 1980s segment Miami Mice, a parody of the TV show Miami Vice.
Preschoolers Don’t Need a Sexy Sesame Street
Some parents see the Katy Perry Sesame Street segment as no big deal. It seems that kids are getting the messages about sex at younger and younger ages and a little bit of cleavage doesn’t really bother some parents. Other parents are outraged that a show they have come to trust would think such a segment was acceptable.
Are parents now expected to accept a sexy Sesame Street? This parent for one will not be tuning in if this is the new direction for the show. It is disturbing to me that a show I trust as the ultimate in kid-friendly viewing would think a cleavage baring, bust bouncing Katy Perry was appropriate for my preschool children to watch. My children tune in to Sesame Street to learn educational concepts. They don’t need a little sex with their alphabet. I wish Sesame Street would just stick to teaching kids how to count and say their ABC’s and leave the parodies of adult shows and sexy outfits to Saturday Night Live and Desperate Housewives.