Katy Perry and Elmo Video Leak; Youtube, Sesame Street PR Stunt?

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It seems Elmo’s not the only one that is hot and cold towards Katy Perry. Yesterday a clip of the pop songstress and Elmo performing duet on Sesame Street was pulled by the show’s producers, Sesame Workshop, because of concerns and complaints voiced by parents and parenting groups that the pop singer’s ensemble was inappropriate for the children’s show. The clip, which can be viewed on Perry’s Youtube channel, shows Elmo and Katy singing a duet of her “Hot n Cold” single, with revised lyrics. Elmo is running all around Sesame Street with Katy chasing behind him, trying to catch him so they can play dress up.

Stories about this clip hit the web to a mix of comments; most of the ones I have read personally seem to be on the side of not thinking it was that big of a deal. Perry is wearing what is described as a “figure skater” dress that has a flesh colored meshing that goes up to her neck. My biggest problems with the people that are so opposed to this clip are these:

1) It is Katy Perry, they are not going to put her in a potato sack – that’s not her thing.
2) What toddler even thinks in a sexual nature? The only people that see this as sexually inappropriate are adults because that is how our brains work, but the age range this is targeting – one to six year-olds – don’t have the same thought process as we do. They will see Elmo and most likely some cute woman they don’t even know having fun, playing tag and singing a cute song.
3) Stop blaming Katy Perry! She isn’t to blame for the outfit, Sesame Street’s wardrobe people are and if they initially didn’t see anything wrong with it, then clearly it couldn’t be that bad since they have been doing this for years.
4) Children are exposed to worst things every day in real life and just because Perry dresses this way doesn’t mean your kids are going to; you control their wardrobes, not TV show stylists.

I cannot help but think this might be some sort of publicity stunt (and I know that I am not the only one way that feels this way). On Youtube today, Elmo has been added next to their logo. Coincidence? Hardly. In addition to the altered logo, there is a section called “Elmo, on the record” featuring a video interview with the fuzzy red monster answering viewer questions. How convenient that it just so happened the day after almost 1 million people viewed the Perry/puppet duet and numerous sites wrote stories about it. If Sesame Workshop was so worried about negative parental feedback so much so that they pulled the scene from the show, why wouldn’t they disallow the video from being available anywhere on the web? I feel like maybe, Sesame Street was looking for a new way to increase viewership and they might have found just the thing.

Have you seen the video? Did you think it was inappropriate? As a parent, would you allow your young child to watch it?

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Ptreri

    Can't be any worse than letting your childern watch some of the TV shows or play the viedeo games that are out there now again…. I didnt see anything wrong with it through a childs eyes it ELMO not Katy Perry ….

  • Eymdlcrz

    i don't think there is a problem at all n i am a mother of 6 kids there not watching the it cuz of her there watching it cuz of Elmo. there is not 1 thing wrong with it. my kids loved the video n watch it over n over again

  • Droffapt

    My son LOVES Elmo, he can careless about katy. I thought it was fine.

  • Kingdaka876

    this video is 100% fine i didnt see anything wrong with it i cant belive they cut it out of the show

  • Splashmt123

    shame on you sesame street, i think kids everywhere would have LOVED this video…i know everyone in my family did including me

  • Honest22

    too much boob, i see why they pulled it. The girls are jumping around.

    • Bryanaddie

      I see nothing wrong with it. It's much adu about nothing.

  • Un-Happy Uncle

    i ddint see anything wrong with this video at all, many of times the way the singer is dressed is what makes them who they are and if sesame street didnt want to air this video why didnt they tell her anything befor video tapeing. im sure she would have dressed properly for the video. but as for this huge issue about this video i see nothing wrong, shame on you sesame street for inviting a singer to your show and not allowing her video air. Katty Perry even changed her lyrics for your show….. shame on you….

  • ShlC

    Toddler boys are obsessed with breasts, but I think the problem might be Elmo's running around her legs.

  • coco

    that video is just SICK and WRONG I'm 14 and I hate it they knew that that dress was inappropriate. In a childs eyes I see a big woman in a bad dress and looks ugly in it. do you as parents out there reading my comment know that there is a nude music video about that same song on Youtube. Is that the stereotype of adult women that we want our kids to believe. Moms your own kid will probably think of you and your friends that way if that is the type of women that they see on T.V. and not just katy perry but almost every adult woman on TV dress like that.

  • Uneedpussy

    u need pussy!!!

  • Salle

    I saw the video. I thought it was good.

  • Nadowasi

    There's nothing in this video inappropriate for any street. All the kids see fun and song just like I did, I'm still a kid at 47. She's dressed up like teenage girls going to the school dance. Everyone needs to calm down! Christ their boobs, kids love'em anyways! Don't make this dirty, have faith in the kids.

  • J.C.

    I think we should support the folks at Sesame Street with their decision to not air the piece. Whether or not you think the dress is appropriate, we need to be tolerant of what their decision is. I also support the parents who thought the dress was too revealing for that show. They gave their opion and their is nothing wrong with giving an opion. Not having the video does not hurt the show.

  • Rjklkk

    Are you kidding! Kids see more cleveage at any walmart In the country. Same is true for any public venue or shopping center. Small children do not have dirty minds like their parents but they will grow up with a warped sense of propriety if grownups make a big deal out of insignificant things

  • Evo

    I think the dress top is a little inappropriate for Sesame Street. Also it's Katie Perry…not exactly a good role model for children.

    • Jamie

      …and an average 3 year old could not possibly influenced by Katie as a 'bad' role model!!! They might want to dress up with pink makeup and skimpy dresses after watching the video, but then they feel the same after watching Tinkerbell!!

  • Otherthannot

    you got trolled sir

  • patma

    oh my goodness!! only in America. Talk about making a fuss about nothing. cute song.

  • ball mill

    I think it is acceptable

  • thumrfrancy

    There was nothing wrong with the video. If they were concerned about her running and the type of dress she was going to wear, they should have told her. I did not see anything that would be offensive to kids, they are more interested in Elmo.

  • Optimusjay

    i think the video was fine! just a cute sesame street segment?

    ….Until 1:42……then her running gave me a boner.

  • Horiaki2

    There is nothing wrong with these video I have my 13 yrs old daughter and we watched together, no effect sesame put the show on the air.

  • Cabi1978

    As many of you have said…This is about seeing Elmo for the age group that this show targets. Only now with the “Big Controversy” will you catch teens trying to watch it and thinking something different and that because adults have brought it to their attention. I know my twelve and nine year old have no interest in watching their one year old brothers shows! As usual there are people out there so obsessed with getting some sort of controversy going, it ruins things for the rest of us that are normal.

  • Pcpdancer

    thats really dumb people you are making a bigger deal then it is!! what did elmo do to you? her clothes are fine and the hole video is good as long as your head isnt always in that gutter! all little kids see is a lady cashing after elmo to play dress up but then elmo whats to play tag. katy perry even changed the words to her song for you. give her some breack. i mean if you think that is bad then you would hate her other videos. grow up! a little kid doesnt see the dirty part of it. you only see it if you want to.

  • Rob

    That video is very cute and innocent. You so called grown ups should get your minds out of the gutter.

  • the captain

    you pbs liberals are absolutely out of your minds you want to teach kids about having sex in the third grade but find her dress offensive? control of kids minds should be taken away from you, you are sick and misguided people

  • voice of reason

    Sesame Street has had known wife abusers, drug users, and other horrible celebrities on it and now they have a semi-controversial singer is when parents are furious? I watched the whole video and watched the various news stories on this video. I still have yet to figure out why it is a big deal.. my daughters play dress up in princess dresses almost like the one Katy is wearing, it is was a funny/cute song, and tactfully done. she had mesh over her chest. some dresses in the mall are like lingerie and don't have mesh over anything. This is picking the wrong time to fight the wrong battle, Sesame Street won't suffer much, but I am wondering if it will affect other shows/sketches in the future. I mean Sesame Street has had a gay AIDS infected character so they have overcome controversy before, this isn't even as controversial as that.

  • Hippyfreakster17109

    Just had my 5 year old daughter watch it and all she said when it was done was “that was great dad”. I as an adult can see that she was a little bouncy in parts, but my daughter didn't care about that, nor would the vast majority of kids watching.

    • Dominic

      My four year old watched it and enjoyed it. She was saying hot and cold all day after. Although I would not dress in that way, Katie has got a lovely figure and it looks fab. Boobs are an attractive part of a the woman's body and we are not so much in the dark ages that we have to cover our bodies from head to toe are we?! Young children don't much care, adults 'should' recognise beauty in it's most innocent form instead of criticising. It's not like she was doing a strip show or anything else sexual!!!

  • Kelli C

    This was so cute. I have a 5 and 6 year old and they both loved it. Good song to teach about opposite words.

  • lightbulb

    This does seem like a big fuss over nothing. Children DO see much worse every day in other ways. However, The fact that I had to get almost all the way down this page before anyone mentioned the words “role model” is very disturbing. We are ALL role models for our youth, and the less we wear, the less our children will want to wear. The video was not provocative in any way, it was cute, it was fine, but really: someone in wardrobe should have said, “let's just put a little more fabric on the top and bottom”. If we never created shorts that say “cutie” on the ass, the 12 year old girl would never think to wear them…We all influence the future with everything we do, and we need to be careful about the direction in which we are guiding the next generation. The problem with our country is that we are a society of instant gratification, we don't think much about “tomorrow” as made evident with obesity, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, etc. Every action leads to the next moment. Please think about your choices. One f-word in your household may not be a big deal, but when every other kindergartener in your child's class is saying it, I believe that's a problem. Children learn by the examples we show them. I think we all need to think about the future just a little more.

  • Ian | SEO Brisbane

    My daughter is just about to turn 2, and loves Sesame Street. There is nothing at all wrong with that video. I'm more concerned about the music video shows that have women in bikinis dancing around like strippers. If people are complaining about Katie Perry and the Elmo video they really need to get a life!!

  • Sanjay Parekh

    I think these days in order to get popular (get hits and UV's) or to get the word out there on the web and general public every is getting into the act of releasing stuff in a “leakage” manner. Social Media and Search Engines are not that smart yet to instantly ignore fake artists in these types of cases.

  • silky

    the dress is not much different to many of the disney dresses! Tinkerbell springs to mind. If that is widely accepted then so should this.

  • Joi

    we are exactly at present time…things changed as it goes. should the people behind kids show knew what they are portraying? yes ofcourse!

  • Arroyomaria45

    I see nothing wrong with da video.

  • yuregininsesi

    you pbs liberals are absolutely out of your minds you want to teach kids about having sex in the third grade but find her dress offensive? control of kids minds should be taken away from you, you are sick and misguided people

  • gutter guard foam

    This is cool! And so interested! Are u have more posts like this? Plese tell me, thanks

  • ER

    THis does not bother me at all. Its kind of cute. I wish her other songs were as clean as this version. The problem is that this appearance is just being used to market her other adult stuff. This is all about money, not children.