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Katy Perry song banned from Sesame Street Season 41

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by ssetta, Sep 23, 2010.


Should Katy Perry's song been cut from Sesame Street?

  1. Yes

    29 vote(s)
  2. No

    109 vote(s)

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I wonder if that removal was really just because of his 1991 controversy as much as it was him being a bit "dated". Other celebrities were also removed from the segment (baseball players, football players, and Pete Seger... I can't imagine why Pete Seger was cut... Then again they did keep John Candy in after his death).
  2. zns

    zns Well-Known Member

    Personally I see it from both sides of the issue. There are of course worse things in life than what is shown on television. But it's probably better to try and keep things down a notch so they do not create too much of a problem. It's not as if Sesame Workshop is trying to give into political correctness either. It's making sure that Sesame Street can provide a safe learning envorinment for children today without talking down to them like Dora or Barney :boo::sleep:. In other words, it's about making things better and fun for today's generation of kids.
  3. Jessica

    Jessica Member

    Meh, I could see why they hated it, if only I could post the most horrifying GIF I made out of it, but it's WAY TOO INAPPROPIATE and awful to the point that I asked God for forgiveness for my sin.

    Even if she was dressed as a ballerina, or anything else, it'd still be considered vulgar. She just has that unfortunate figure that doesn't work on Children's TV.
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    You can easily do it with live action. Think CGI. They could easily CGI a very large feather boa or CGI alter the top of the dress. Or they could go the "we're gonna be VERY obvious about it" route and just have it tastefully hidden with a big obvious CGI butterfly that just SOOOO happens to be there. And if they need to blur, I still don't see how that's any less awkward looking than banning it all together. They paid the money for the segment, they have so little of it, it's not good for anyone.

    Banning completely was a sign of weakness, and a disturbing one at that. Same thing with "I want a Monster to Be My Friend." it took them how many years to realize they could just rerecord it? And honestly, the way those girls sang it in the cover sounds a LOT more suggestive. How much would it have cost to just get someone else to redub the song completely, and just change the offensive lyric. no... ban to cave into pressure. It's like when perverted people started talking about how they hid certain things in Disney movies (some actually were on purpose) and they had to go back and realter the footage. Not because they're admitting to any wrongdoing that was only implied, but because they're fessing up and apologizing for something they didn't do or mean to do in the first place.

    And again, who's to say SW didn't argue her down to the compromise of a body suit? I think if anything they should have tried a little harder to get her to wear something less revealing (and more socially acceptable 10+20 years ago... wait... people were dressing like that for a while... hmmm...). Dang thing wasn't even strapless. And i'ts not like we haven't seen low neck puppet costumes before. Cleavage on puppets is a LOT more disturbing, IMO.

    She was part of Destiny's Child at the time. New Way to Walk.

    Things have been like that for a while. Every so often they manage to do older references (does Total even do the "You need X bowls of Corn Flakes to equal the nutrional value" commercials anymore? They've been doing that since the 80's.) even the Walk this Way parody is a reference to a 1980's music video. The fact of the matter is, parody media has been huge since the 90's, and it really blew up last decade with the advent of those TERRIBLE movies. You know exactly which ones I'm referring to. I do say there's very little difference in seeing Jim Parsons now and seeing Henry Winkler then. But there's too much NOW and not enough less topical references. They even manage to sneak in wry political humor from time to time. Frankly, I can't fault them for being too hip, and therefore madTV-esque (an insult, actually) because that's our culture of humor these days. And yes, I think they try to hard to stay ahead of the competition. Personally, I hate the block format and the fact every celeb has to work with Elmo much, much more. If I was a celeb on Sesame Street, I'd specifically ask to work with Telly and or Oscar.

    And I've said it a trillion times, it just wouldn't be a season if they didn't have a celebrity come on and sing a poorly written overly laborious parody version of their song to say "I'm so famous I'm on Sesame Street." A) Remember the good old days when they used puppet facsimiles to sing sound-a-like parodies that were actually FUNNY? and B) Puh-lease. Get Weird Al on the phone. Get someone who REALLY can do a parody. That said, this is actually a good one. Unlike Feist's whispsy sing song parody of her whispy sing song song with obvious lyrics... or Jason Mzyzptlix's whatever that was (I agree with Family Guy. Jason Toomanyconsonantscrushedtogether is basically a guy with a hat). I haven't seen a good one since Furry happy Monsters. And this season we were supposed to get 2 good ones. Love Hop this Way.

    over all, yes... I get it. As parents the costuming is questionable and they should have got her to wear an ugly sweatsuit like Cathy (ACK!). But maybe it's my philosophy. I agree in not letting kids get exposed to sex... but I don't think the dress is anywhere near that, even though it's a centimeter from crossing the line. I could say something very inappropriate about it, visa visa the target demographic, but I won't. We have to remember, things progress and change. What wasn't acceptable before is totally acceptable today, things that were acceptable aren't now, and people react to things strangely leaving a serious of inconsistencies, double standards, and discrepancies. I watched a legally officially posted episode of Bill and Ted's Saturday Morning cartoon show on youtube, and it had a "Viewer discretion is advised" disclaimer for Drug use that wasn't present or even hinted at.
  5. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    My earlier post pretty much says everything i could say about the whole flap, but just to further the discussion and make it more interesting, i thought i'd throw in something that hasn't been covered (insert your own joke here)

    As i said before, i think there was an accumulation of little things that all combined made the clip a bit too much aside from Katy's dress (even though that's what's received the lion's share of the attention) but let's focus on the issue of wardrobe for a moment.

    I've not worked on SST nor know what their specific practices and policies are (it would be great if someone who has that inside knowledge could pipe in!) but i've done enough acting work to know that one's wardrobe on a tv show is usually handled one of two ways:

    1) It's either provided or pre-approved for you by the show's costume/wardrobe department (of course fitted, tailored, altered...)

    2) If talent provides their own clothes, it's almost always in the contract or communicated to the talent in some way or another (usually written document) that goes over what may or may not be worn. Not just for "censorship" issues but for basic logistics or preventing day-of-shooting faux pas - you may be asked to avoid certain colors due to technical issues or aesthetics of a scene, of course if you're playing a character, you would wear something appropriate for your character, not wear clothes with a huge designer logo on it or something that may be advertising something else (this is usually one of the biggest bones of contention since it gets into issues of advertising/endorsements), nothing torn, ripped, or frayed, nothing that has four letter words on them (FCC violation), etc. Each production will have its own rules based on the kind of show it is, but it's pretty standard to have this kind of wardrobe "do's and don't's" provided to the talent when they get hired to appear on the show and it's more common than not for that to occur.

    Sesame Street, being the type of show it is - a very high profile, heavily scrutinized, partially government funded show aimed at pre-schoolers with the primary objective being educational, i'm sure would most certainly have this kind of policy in place and have a lot of stuff that's covered and outlined in their dress policy. (On a sidenote, pretty much any job regardless of whether it's in the entertainment industry or not has a dress policy if employees are wearing their own clothes) Again, insiders are welome and encouraged to back me up on what the specific case is with Sesame Street, but i'm guessing it's actually a provision of the talent's contract (or probably a mixture of providing one's own clothes and being preapproved or provided before the shoot).

    So in Katy Perry's case, she may have actually gone against what was asked of her - and if it was in her contract, that could even be a breech of contract issue. Yeah, SW would bear some responsibility because she went before the cameras in something that ordinarily would not be approved to begin with - so in a way, SW may be seeing this as an issue of "we violated our own internal rules and policies/procedures and people publically noticed and are taking us to task for it" so it may very well be for their own protection.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I just realized something.

    Look at these three UNALTERED G rated Disney character pictures...


    Now look at Katy again...

    Now, of the group, cartoon characters or NO cartoon characters, who looks MORE inappropriate?

    The Disney princesses. And they're basically for the same basic demographic.

    Now, I'm sure there were complaints on some level there, but not nearly as loud and vocal as that. Take a good look at those Princesses again, and ask me, why DIDN'T anyone think Katy was dressed inappropriate at the time?

    Think about it this way. When you watched Ghostbusters as a kid, did you realize what "Key master" and "gatekeeper" meant? Now add to the fact that they sort of showed as much as they could get away with... and the third piece of the puzzle... there was a Children's cartoon series BASED on that movie. And a very successful one at that. Kids either know it or they don't know it.

    Now here's another thing I realized. All Sesame Street segments are routinely subjected to testing with children. I'm sure if the test group had any negative feelings about the segment, it would have been pulled before air and refilmed. I still say they should retest kids. And I'm sure they'll come out saying, "Who was that girl Elmo was singing with?" and basically hinting that all they focused on was Elmo.

    SW DID get her to wear a body suit, making it look a little less obvious. Pulling without altering the skit WAS for their own protection, sure... but only because they were very panicky about comments on Youtube (again, snicker snicker... go to ANY of their videos and read the comments) and afraid of overzealous parental groups jumping on them.

    Because of this, I can see SW policing the heck out of who they hire, making sure we'll have no one relevant to adults, and a very long list of boring personalities that make everyone in the house only want to flip to Nick Jr. as fast as possible to see the VERY same acts guest star on even more juvenile shows without complaint. This is a very disturbing and depressing development, and we haven't seen the last of this.

    Oh, and mentioning the FCC... hmm... that now pointless government agency that lets massive mega corps buy up all the stations and media influences they want, while only over-reacting to silly no nos? Yeah. That's protecting us. :rolleyes:

    Edit: Oh... speaking of Youtube comments, I just popped over the SS's channel to see if I could find any objectionable material posted on their site.

    Guess what? Someoone's porno channel spammed VERY explicit stuff, someone else used NOTHING as a platform to whine about illegal immigrants (in NO capitals with the worst spelling a human could possibly have). Yeah... I'm SOOO glad SW pays very close attention to their comments.
  7. Jessica

    Jessica Member

    I don't see your point with the Disney princesses to be honest. Yes, they have cleavage, but it's not ( )( ) which is the whole problem with Katy's. It's not just you see SOME, they're VERY visible from all sides. Had the dress been in black, it'd be different.
  8. Katzi428

    Katzi428 Well-Known Member

    I took a look at the video yesterday & wondered if they were out of their minds letting Katy Perry be dressed up like that for a little kids' show! My Gosh!:eek: Jim Henson,Joe Raposo,etc. must've been rolling over in their graves!
    I'm personally glad they pulled it! (My 3 year old niece likes the song "Hot & Cold" But she doesn't watch Sesame Street anymore. And I'm sure if she still did & the skit wasn't pulled my sister in law would have had a FIT!)
    OK..rant over.
  9. antsamthompson9

    antsamthompson9 Well-Known Member

    I agree with Oscar and SSLfan. There was nothing wrong with it, and the kids would have been paying more attention to Elmo. I noticed the dress and everything, but I didn't think it was inaproprate.
  10. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    personally I think this is just was Katy and Sesame Street needed. Now they are all over the news, and we know everyone loves a scandlle and everyone loves drama. Now people will be watching Sesame to see if there is something else that needs to be band, and some people will feel sorry for Katy for being banned from Sesame Street.
  11. The 11th UrRu

    The 11th UrRu Member

    Seriously disappointed they cut it. Saw it yesterday before this all happened and was impressed with her effort on the skit. Much like Natalie Portmans elephant skit, I held her in a new light after her appearance. We are simply too sensitive to these things these days, I'm sad to see SS buckle under the "outside" pressure... leave the politics and jerry springers and CSI's and the TMZs on the outside where they belong, that line of thinking or debate does not belong on this show, this show has for 40 years super-ceded outside garbage... at the end of the day, on the inside, its a cute harmless skit for kids to enjoy and dance to while they watch TV in the morning....
  12. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    The controversy certainly helped it. It's one of the most watched clips on Youtube now. Which is kinda cool because the Ask Elmo is a featured clip with an Elmo pic next to the Youtube logo today! It's basically an Elmo Day (what a day for it to happen to fall on too!)

    I realized in my previous posts i never actually mentioned something i wanted to say but left out...i do really love the clip. Overall it's fresh, really well done, lots of fun and sounds great! (Might be my fave Sesame song since Feist's 1234). The only thing i didn't care for (besides some poor choices in editing/execution/too many entendres) was that parts of it were modulated in a way you couldn't make out the words which normally i wouldn't mind because the sound is a bit cool, but when the main objective is as a teaching tool, it's kind of important to understand the words.

    The clip is so right on and yet so wrong in so many different ways (what is that odd fascination the editors had with showing the shot of Elmo running around the bottom of Katy's skity over and over?)

    Someone also posted a rather funny video of parts of the clip in slow motion where parts of Katy's body are doing some major dancing on their own.
  13. ISNorden

    ISNorden Active Member

    For what it's worth, I was over at the official Sesame Street channel: the comment section is filthier than Oscar's can, and those who do mention the Perry scandal refer mainly to her, ahem, cleavage. Yes, Sesame Street has shown two women breast-feeding as part of an educational discussion of that topic, at a level kids could understand. And yes, animated/puppet characters can be "sexed up" inappropriately; Tinker Bell's looks sparked a ton of criticism back in the 60s. Heck, Sesame Street may have gone too far in the past when they created Polly Darton; but at least the designers dressed her a bit less suggestively than Katie Perry nearly got away with!
  14. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I thought it was (those straps over her shoulders were part of the cape).

    Heh, if it was me I'd ask to work with Herry or Biff and Sully, though Oscar would be great to work with.
  15. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    :super:I thought the video, composition, shooting, editing and vocals were easy to understand and top shelf. Also loved the Oscar cameo! This is very much in the spirit of the original video. Sure, there's repetition of a few key shots, but that's one of the educational parts of the song and of Sesame Street as a whole. Would I have gone with a slightly varied take? Well, yeah, but it's unnecessary. I suppose anything can be scrutinized. I’ve certainly done so with the Muppets Kitchen, but this simply cute little video has nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it’s too fun for the modern Sesame Street.

    I think they should have Katy back and either make a different song or change her outfit. She’s such a big fan and obviously she and Elmo had a good time working together.
  16. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    Me too! Or Cookie or Bert or Ernie...any of the classic characters. It got annoying this past season when an Elmo-centered street story would end and right away was "Hi, I'm (celebrity)." "AND ELMO'S ELMO!" I felt like Han Solo when he said "Didn't we just leave this party?"

    I've thought the same thing for years! He's still making CD's, still touring, still writing great stuff...why doesn't he do something with the Muppets or Sesame? He'd be the perfect guest and it wouldn't matter if kids didn't know who he was. He can do all kinds of silly things to make kids AND adults laugh. I wish that SW would hire him as one of the writers or musicians or something. If they did, we'd get great, classic parodies with the same quality as "Born to Add" or "Hey Food". Heck, he could do versions of some of his own songs if he wanted. Can't you just see a version of "Eat It" starring Weird Al and Cookie Monster?:insatiable:

    Convincing John
  17. HeyButtahfly

    HeyButtahfly Well-Known Member

    I support Sesame Street pulling the video, I thought it was inappropriate for a children's television show. That is all I will say because I'm not in the mood to argue over ethics in media.
  18. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Once again we have to ask... How on Earth... How in the entire universe is her outfit any different from what people on the street are wearing now.

    Oh wait. It's a lot more modest. You don't want your kid to see that never EVER take them to the beach. And NEVER let them watch the Little Mermaid. Even the Sea Witch showed a lot more skin than I would have liked. I'm sorry but we've come pretty far in our society to still think that's completely inappropriate. Meanwhile, hypocrisy still surrounds the prudish and puritanical culture. Walk into TRU, what's the first thing you're gonna see? Twilight character action figures, and all the men are shirtless. Yeah, THAT'S not sexual.

    The only guests SS should ever bar from being on the show are ones that deal in telling kids the glory of smacking ho's and being a pimp. Or any sports star that doped up to cheat. And of course, anyone who molested children. THOSE things hurt people. Katy didn't. She wore something that's NOT out of the ordinary (kid's show or no kid's show) that covers up both her midsection AND her buttcrack. Something that actually ISN'T too common, and I'd at least see your point if the dress was at LEAST strapless. This, socially speaking isn't just a step backward, it's a giant Scooby-Doo leap into Shaggy's arms backwards. This whole god given Human body= Sex=SHAME thing is completely lost on me. There is nothing even innuendous about her performance. Sure, you wouldn't want the pre-school teacher to dress that way, but she's NOT a preschool teacher.

    Watch the Desperate Houseplants segment again. Now, how come we aren't having a small vocal minority with WAAAAY too much time on their hands whine about that? There's so much innuendo in that segment I'm surprised they got away with it. And NO ONE COMPLAINED. And Kids DIDN'T know what they were talking about.

    But MAKE NO MISTAKE. This isn't about just her body, it's her body of work. Oh NOES! She sang California Gurls. Yeah, did she get arrested on multiple drug convictions? Did she assault anyone? Did she molest any little kids? She wasn't even WITH kids in that segment. No? She didn't hurt anyone.

    But hey, let's dumb down and overly babify the series more. Because of this flap, I'm sure we'll get a fresh crop of annoying talentless children's musician Raffi wannabes like Laurie Berkner as guests. I listened to something of hers once...and once is all it takes. The WORST Sesame Street guest star ever had to be the children's musician that sang "Jump up" that couldn't even be bothered to work with the Muppets, adding yet another lame filmed segment to the bloated season of filmed segments taking away Muppet time.

    But hey. You win. Now you don't have to fear talking to your kids about something they could easily be exposed to anywhere else.
  19. Blue Weirdo

    Blue Weirdo Member

    which in turn led to stupid censoring on it's own. They were forced to change Janine's appearance and voice because some idiotic complaint group was worried she'd frighten kids. On a show where literally every episode had some kind of ghost, monster or demon (they fought the freaking Boogieman for crying out loud!) they worry about Janine being scary?

    I watched the Katy Perry segment and frankly I see nothing to complain about.
  20. muppet maniac

    muppet maniac Well-Known Member

    Another Youtube video response, which is totally spot on:


    You know, I've seen cleavage my whole life, but I've seen a lot of things my whole life: trees, birds, skies, buildings, dogs, cats, cars, butterflies, rain, clouds... Because, like the cleavage, it's all there, it's everywhere you go, and there's no avoiding it like there's no getting away from the letter T or any other letter of the alphabet (reference to a skit from The Muppet Alphabet Album), I just don't see why people get so ballistic over it.

    Until this whole bruhahahahahaha, I didn't know much about Katy Perry, as I've been out of the US for all these years. I've seen the video before the controversy broke out, and like the guy in the video said, it was anything but what the parents said. Like I said, I've seen cleavage my whole life, even before I could talk. I didn't even bother to bother (personally I'm more into booty, but that's not the point).

    Which brings us to...

    IMO, and generally speaking, the worse thing you can do is try to protect and shield your child from something in which they will end up having to see eventually, and once they do encounter it, they're clueless on how to act on it since they weren't exposed to it sooner.

    And that's what parents are for: to help kids understand the things they'll need to know in order to get through life as an adult - how to deal with conflict, social skills, crossing the street safely, how to take care of one's self, and so on. But back on topic, Katy has cleavage because she has breasts, and women have breasts. That's a part of a woman's body, and that's that.

    Kids are going to develop urges at some point, but that's to be expected. They're gonna ask questions, but as we all learned from this show: asking questions is a good way to find out and learn about things.

    One more thing: I don't know about you, but have you people noticed that it's always, if not, almost often, women who make a big fuss over things like this? :rolleyes: Anxiety issues I guess...

    The only guests SS should ever bar from being on the show are ones that deal in telling kids the glory of smacking ho's and being a pimp. Or any sports star that doped up to cheat. And of course, anyone who molested children. THOSE things hurt people.

    As far as political figures go (they've had these on the show), I would never want to see THIS guy appearing on the street:


    This guy has done more damage (awful, serious, evil damage) to humanity than Katy Perry and her outfit ever did. Seriously. And to think that people see the latter as a major catastrophe.

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