A clip featuring Perry singing a kids' version of her hit song "Hot N Cold" with "Sesame Street" character Elmo sparked controversy when it was released to YouTube Wednesday with some parents complaining that Perry's cleavage-bearing ensemble is inappropriate for the show's young audience.
Perry refers to the outfit in the song, during which she laments about how Elmo always changes his mind and, in this instance, decided not to play dress-up with Perry as he promised.
"'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," producers Sesame Workshop said in a statement Thursday. "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 YouTube 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 YouTube."
Parents Television Council President Tim Winter said he supported the show's decision not to air the Perry video.
"The PTC applauds our friends at Sesame Workshop for choosing not to air the Elmo video with Katy Perry. While there is no doubt that Ms. Perry is an extremely popular performer today, the reality is that millions of families place their unbridled trust in 'Sesame Street' as a source of age-appropriate entertainment for their children and grandchildren," Winter said in a statement. "Any amount of sexualized content -- even in a small degree -- is concerning for a television program targeting preschool-aged children. For those who desire such content, let them look elsewhere."
"Sesame Street" is to have its 41st season premiere Monday.