Maybe I should be flogged for thinking Katy Perry’s cleavage wouldn’t be a big deal for young schoolkids, especially after another summer at the pools and beaches (where hints that women have breasts underneath their clothing are commonplace). But certainly, enough people complained about Perry’s appearance that Sesame Workshop was convinced to remove this segment from the 41st season of “Sesame Street.”
I showed the video to my 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son earlier this week, before the uproar, because I knew they’ve heard and liked the Perry song, “Hot N Cold.” I did not see any mind-warping occur before my eyes. They laughed. I wouldn’t hesitate to show this to my 2-year-old son either, but anyway …
Here’s the statement Sesame Street issued this morning:
“Sesame Street has a long history of working with celebrities across all genres, including athletes, actors, musicians and artists. Sesame Street has always been written on two levels, for the child and adult. We use parodies and celebrity segments to interest adults in the show because we know that a child learns best when co-viewing with a parent or care-giver. We also value our viewer’s opinions and particularly those of parents. In light of the feedback we’ve received on the Katy Perry music video which was released on You Tube only, we have decided we will not air the segment on the television broadcast of Sesame Street, which is aimed at preschoolers. Katy Perry fans will still be able to view the video on You Tube and on katyperry.com.”
It’s not just that the kids will see and hear worse elsewhere, whether we like it or not. I didn’t even see this as a violation of the safe-haven concept implicit to PBS. The focus of the video for kids, it seems to me, is much more on its fun and kookiness.
In any case, the video can be still found online, so I guess no harm done. Just not sure this needed to become such a big deal. You’d think the people at Sesame Workshop would have earned some faith that they know what they’re doing by now.