Katy Perry, the extravagantly endowed pop tart who became a star with the hit I Kissed A Girl, and more recently, California Gurls, is not a hit with some parents of the tykes who watch Sesame Street.
Her, um, duet with Elmo (he’s the little red guy who likes to get tickled) was yanked from the program after numerous parental complaints about her outfit, or lack of it.
Like many hot celebs before her, Katy agreed to go on the iconic kiddies show and frolic with the Muppets. In her skit with Elmo, they are supposed to play dress-up, but Elmo, shy guy that he is, gets all flustered and runs away.
You can’t tell he’s blushing because he’s all red all the time, but as Miss Katy’s unfit outfit emphasizes her endowments, Elmo likely can’t take it all in.
“You can see her t—!” complained parental America. And the people who run Sesame Street listened and now you have to go to YouTube with several million other grownup kids to watch it. After all, Miss Katy’s t— are hardly appropriate viewing for children ages one to six.
Meanwhile, what were they thinking (or thinking with)? Rumour has it the producer responsible for the lapse will be replaced by Oscar the Grouch, not so easily dazzled by décolletage.
And then you have to think about the impact on the other Muppets. Puppets are people, too.
Consider the Count, who loves to count, but when Miss Katy is around he can never get past “two.”
Or Big Bird, who is always eight years old, grows up in a hurry. Size matters.
Or Kermit, who is green with envy, and would not run away like Elmo. “I like to dress up!” he croaks.
If you think the above is bad, you should have seen the Saturday Night Live segment over the weekend, guest starring, guess who? Katy Perry. Brought to you by the numbers “38” and the letters “Double D.”
I know, I know. I should be getting all censorious and fulminate about the rampant sexualization of small children — and it’s true, the loss of innocence comes soon enough without it being forced on kids before they are emotionally ready to handle it.
But Katy Perry has been such a good sport about the whole thing — and why wouldn’t she be? The Muppet kerfuffle made her a top search on Google and Yahoo and after Saturday Night Live, she is booked on The Simpsons. Fifteen minutes, baby!
And if all else fails, she is welcome in Mr. Sullivan’s neighbourhood any time.
Paul Sullivan is a Vancouver-based journalist and owner of Sullivan Media Consulting;