Remember when Judd Apatow got weirdly outraged about The Slap, tweeting that Will Smith “could have killed” Chris Rock? This is like, but with Elmo. A few days ago, Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Wil Wheaton wrote hundreds of words on his personal Facebook page about Larry David beating the crap out of Elmo on the Today show.
“What the f*ck is wrong with that guy? Elmo is, like, the best friend to multiple generations of children. In the Sesame Street universe, ELMO IS A CHILD, who is currently putting mental health and caring for others in the spotlight. And Larry F*cking David.. did… that? And thought it was going to be … funny? What? What an asshole. What a stupid, self-centered, tone deaf asshole.”
That’s how it starts.
Wheaton recalled that when he was a child, his father would “grab me by the shoulders and shake me while he screamed in my face. He choked me more than once. He was always out of control, always in a furious rage, and always terrifying. I’m a 51 year-old man and my heart is pounding right now, recalling how I felt when I was a little boy who loved Grover the way today’s kids love Elmo.” He called David’s attack on Elmo “appalling, unforgivable, despicable act,” and referred to the Curb Your Enthusiasm creator as a “d*ckhead.”
Elmo inspired a deeply meaningful and important moment of collective support among disparate people who have been struggling through the traumas of a pandemic, daily mass shootings, the rise of fascism and everything associated with Trump’s violence and cruelty. And sh*tty idiot Larry David couldn’t leave it alone, for some reason. He had to indirectly tell everyone who opened their hearts to a Muppet that they were stupid, and he thought it was a good joke to physically attack and choke this character who is beloved by children and adults alike. You know what that tells impressionable young people about sharing their feelings?
The post ends with Wheaton writing, “Elmo got lots and lots of people speaking openly and honestly about their mental health. A nontrivial number of people who none of us will ever know were inspired by it, and that was the last little nudge they needed to make the call or send the email to being healing. Elmo probably saved lives and relationships by opening that conversation. A man who would belittle and mock that isn’t much of a man at all. Shame on you, Larry David.”