Nothing has distracted America more from the upcoming midterm elections or from premiere week over the past 48 hours than the Katy Perry “Sesame Street” controversy.
Always looking for the right celebrity to bring in younger parents to watch the PBS staple, the “California Girls” singer taped a new version of her hit song “Hot and Cold” with “Sesame” star Elmo for the show’s upcoming new season. After the music video was sneaked on YouTube, “Sesame Street” got a flood of feedback from parents who thought Perry’s outfit was too revealing for the preschool audience show. The producers then made the decision to pull the segment from its scheduled live broadcast date.
Speaking on Good Morning America today, “Sesame Street” Executive Producer Carol-Lynne Parente said Perry was a “wonderful musical talent and we had a wonderful time” but that “a lot ” of feedback led to the decision.
“We would never, never, never produce anything we thought was inappropriate,” Parente said. “We were surprised by not only the amount of feedback, but how fast it came in.”
“We have a long interactive history with our parents. They trust ‘Sesame Street.’ We take that seriously, so we viewed a lot of the feedback and made what we thought was an appropriate decision.”
However, it appears the naysers didn’t dominate the conversation. Parente says the reaction “was very split, very different. And it’s very interesting to read and see some of the feedback.”
Parente also noted, there are other clips that have been pulled in the past. A Chris Brown and Elmo music video was removed after the R&B singer’s implication in a beating with Rihanna and even “Where The Wild Things'” artist Maurice Zendak had an animation pulled because parents complained it was too scary for their children.
Perry who had tweeted, “I guess my play date with Elmo got cut short” now has a standing invitation to return to the show. Elmo, who bluntly admitted he loves to name drop, told GMA host George Stephanopoulos, “We’ll have another one. Elmo loves Miss Katy and we had a good time. So, we’ll have another play date. Yes! Come Miss Katy! Come, come, come, come!”
Then again, the whole controversy might have some of the residents of “Sesame Street” a bit rattled. Grover asked Stephanopoulos, “George, how do you like my outfit? It’s not too revealing is it?”
Grover has a whole new look this year – Super Grover 2.0 – but fans will have to watch the new season of “Sesame Street” which debuts Monday, Sept. 27 to see the blue monster in action.