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Katy Perry Outfit Inappropriate For Sesame Street?

Updated on April 14, 2017
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The Katy Perry / Elmo / Sesame Street Scandal!

A Katy Perry musical segment has been pulled from the children's show Sesame Street because of complaints that her outfit is too revealing for a program aimed at children aged between one and six.

Katy Perry performed a toned down version of her hit song Hot 'n' Cold, in a duet with Sesame Street's Elmo, wearing a yellow number with a plunging cleavage. It was later noted that the outfit also included an ice skater's style mesh top in a flesh-like colour.

Once the clip had been released for preview, the producers received complaints from (some) parents about how much Katy Perry was revealing, not only to Elmo, but also to the eyes of all those drooling preschoolers.

So, what do you think? Were the producers right in editing this clip out of Sesame Street, or have these preschoolers been witness to worse at your local Wal-Mart?

Katy Perry's Revealing Sesame Street Clip?

Here is the offending video clip starring Katy Perry along with Elmo. What's your take?

The Producers' Statement

Sesame Street Pulls Katy Perry Video

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 caregiver. We also value our viewers' 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.

The Katy Perry / Sesame Street Debate

Was it right to cut this segment from Sesame Street?

Yes, Katy Perry's outfit is inappropriate for preschoolers!

Yes, Katy Perry's outfit is inappropriate for preschoolers!

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    • Eva 22 months ago

      I think you guys are just social justice warriors. I remember watching that video before all of this rukus about it came up, and I wasn't phased at all. I don't see the problem.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      The irony is that kids probably wouldn't have noticed all that skin, but ADULT MEN would.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      We wonder why children are sexually active so earlier but I am not surprised by how many people think the outfit worn by Katy Perry was acceptable or in good taste for a program trusted to educated young minds. I have a daughter and will no longer support Sesame Street because of the increased focus on pop culture evident in their programming. It seems morals are lost in this country.

    • KReneeC 5 years ago

      I am sure there could have been something else Katy Perry could have worn. And the statement from the producers was ridiculous. So what Katy was wearing is supposed to interest me? I have absolutely NO interest in seeing her chest. What a lame excuse for their stupidity.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      i guess it was kinda weird that she would put on something like that for a baby

      show

    • raegal75 6 years ago

      I'm surprised someone didn't notice it maybe wasn't appropriate before or during the video. I think the video is adorable, and Katy is adorable. The princess dress was a good idea, but really, the low cut and barely there top of the dress wasn't a good choice.

    • tandemonimom lm 6 years ago

      I'm going to have to fall on the NO side. While I agree that most preschoolers have probably seen similar outfits or even more than that, that's not the point. There ARE still parents out there who protect their children's innocence, and Sesame Street, of all places, should be a safe bet for them. Kate Perry should have had more respect for her audience.

    • Moe Wood 6 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      I'm kind of of in the middle but slightly leaning. I think it is a totally cute video and Katy says at the beginning that she put on her "dress-up" clothes. But, this costume really isn't like the ice skating ones which use a nude color that covers up the flesh and not a mesh which leaves everything pretty much visible.

      I don't think it has to do with giving children sexual thoughts so much as exposing young people to the sexualization of women which is what the almost bare and some times jiggling breasts imply. They are going to get a ton of that in high school. Sesame Street should be a safe haven from that so I can totally see how some parents would be upset.

      The SNL Elmo t-shirt skit was hilarious. And it's a totally appropriate environment.

    • Treasures By Brenda 6 years ago from Canada

      Where do you stop? Do you ever draw the line? Is anything inappropriate? Is everything appropriate? Does everything go? Always? No matter where no matter when? I agree that a toddler isn't going to go off thinking about Katy Perry's outfit one way or the other but...all I can say is WHY???

    • Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Actually let me sit on the other side of the fence too - I don't think they should have considered adding this in the first place. It would be as bad as having a rap artist on with their pants hanging down to their knees and uttering the F-word all over the place.

    • grannysage 6 years ago

      I am somewhat in the middle but leaning toward the inappropriate. I am not prudish and lived in a commune where clothes were optional. But, I have to ask, what was the purpose of her dressing like that? Did it help the song or detract from it? A costume could have been many things, it didn't have to exaggerate a certain body part. The skit was about playing together, not running around looking sexy. So I say, it was right to cut the segment, but Katy Perry got the desired result anyway. More publicity.

    • WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Although I see nothing wrong with her dress and love her music, I think Katy Perry, Emo and Sesame Street are the wrong mix. I'm happy they pulled the video. Sorry, I'm a bit old-fashioned!

    • Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Watching the video, the outfit is much less offensive than it appeared in the picture I saw in the newspaper. However, I still think it's in poor taste. There is still a place for modesty in our society. Katy Perry definitely isn't in the same place.

    • Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

      Yah, it's a couture flop for this show but not much different from the so-called "career top" fashions in the stores and worn in offices (and on some news shows) all over these days. Yawn. Who needs to see cleavage all the time? Musta been a hit with the crew.

    • jenms lm 6 years ago

      Inappropriate is a little bit of a stretch, but but I think she might have picked a different top to appear on a show for pre-school kids. Would she wear the same thing to meet her fiance's 90 year Grandmother for the first time? Well considering it's Russell Brand maybe she would. Lady Gaga didn't wear anything too crazy when she met the Queen. I think it's more about respecting the audience in question. Now did a big deal need to be made of it? No, definitely not.

    No way, what's the fuss all about?

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      • anonymous 3 years ago

        She looks so sexy

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I see nothing wrong with what she has on, when i was viewing the video i was trying to find out WHAT WAS the reason for them NOT airing it. I thought it was because of the TRUE meaning of the song (the original version). I didn't know it was because of her clothes. I FEEL that this should have been aired.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I see nothing wrong. She is a little uncovered but no pre schoolers would notice it. I guarantee the mother of those children are more undressed then Katy. This is getting ridiculous, too many complaints on such a little ordeal.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        There is nothing wrong with her outfit. I guess she could have covered up her chest, But they don't need to take it off the show.

      • Paul 5 years ago from Liverpool, England

        I very much doubt if any preschoolers would have made comment if their uptight parents hadn't cried.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        its totally ok

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        No. Kids won't even notice. The Sesame Street producers should bring it back to TV.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        nothing wrong with the video, Katy Perry did a good job, with Elmo.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        katy's outfit wasn't inappropriate because she wasn't flashing as much as she normally does so she didn't want to look babyish or look hot she wanted to look in the middle

      • AHERMITT LM 6 years ago

        Sesame street should have chosen her wardrobe but since they didn't, I have to say it wasn't so bad.

      • ArdenBaird LM 6 years ago

        If pre-schoolers even notice the clothes I'd be surprised.

      • bsblmike2 6 years ago

        i don't mind it hehe

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        I don't see the problem. Growing up in the 60's and 70's, I saw an awful lot more flesh of my teachers.

      • Loretta 6 years ago from United States

        I honestly did not get the fuss about this. I did not find her outfit revealing or sexual at all. It was some cleavage - ooooo. Have the complaining moms met Barbie lately?

      • Nathalie Roy 6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

        Come on, I have seen 16 years old prom dress with WAY more cleavage than this. All this shock and awe about her outfit serve no one. Really, in the 50's remember the robes used to look like this. Watching this debate makes me feel like going back in time. When people get too prudish, it ends up having teens going the total opposite ways!

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        miss piggy has dressed more revealing than that people!

      • Mona 6 years ago from Iowa

        Well it's probably not the most appropriate outfit but neither was it too revealing. I've seen more sex in rice commercials. But then again I'm not a mother of a preschooler.

      • drifter0658 lm 6 years ago

        Fail! Especially if there were just a few complaints. I'll echo...PRUDES! Hey, this is America where sex sells...I bet it sells education too! Honestly, there is nothing wrong with the outfit. Nothing got loose and I'd be willing to bet that most of these kids have seen more clevage from their grandmothers who are probably in their mid 40's...

      • WhitePineLane 6 years ago

        I want to apologize for using the word "prudes". After re-reading my comment, I thought - just because someone thinks the video should be pulled, doesn't necessarily make them prudish, and that was an inappropriate remark on my part.

      • Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

        Other than the occasional jiggle, I didn't see anything wrong with it at all. It's just the USA being prudish as usual. If a 5 year old sees her cleavage as something sexual, then there is something wrong. If a 15 year old sees it, then I have to ask "why are they watching Sesame Street?". So much about Sesame Street is inappropriate anyhow, I don't see what difference this makes. Pre-school kids see their mothers wearing less than Katy Perry was wearing these days.

      • WhitePineLane 6 years ago

        Wrong, wrong, wrong to cut from Sesame Street! As others have said - no preschooler is going to look at her outfit and think lurid thoughts. She's not dressed any differently than any fairy or princess they've seen in Disney movies! It's a sweet and cute remake of her song Hot 'n' Cold - a song they've probably heard many times on the radio, and will relate to! Sure she MIGHT'VE picked a less-revealing outfit - but she's KATY PERRY, and she's playing DRESS-UP! Gosh, prudes - get a grip! Grace Kelly would've worn a strapless number like this, for goodness' sake! Toddlers will not be harmed by watching this video.

      • purplelady 6 years ago

        I have been hearing about this but had not seen the video until the wonderful network of Squidoo brought it to me. Now that I have seen it, I believe Mr. Shakespeare had words that fit this reaction by some: Much Ado About Nothing!

        There are many TV commercials that are much more inappropriate and more revealing.

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        Have to agree that this is ridiculous. My one remaining preschooler would just dance and sing along with them BOTH and not have a thought in his little head about her "revealing" costume. My 7-year-old granddaughter would immediately think "fairy princess". I wonder if those same outraged parents let those little ones sit in front of TV sets where they see (probably several times a week) the Victoria's Secrets commercials. Victoria has VERY FEW secrets!

      • aishu19 6 years ago

        Dear god toddlers wouldnt look at that and get any suggestive ideas..they probably thinks shes dressed like a fairy...if any adult that was inappropriate then its probably because they have inappropriate thoughts on their mind..come on how much do you want to shelter these kids? Its a costume..she does mention its a dress up game....

      • Deb Bryan 6 years ago from Chico California

        I rarely ever engage in any controversy. But, This time seems to be a good time to break my own rules. I say "choose your battles wisely". This one seems rather "FUN" (thanks to Monkey Brain).

        We are talking about toddlers right? The darling little uninhibited humans who on a whim will toss all of their clothing to the wind and streak across malls and down church isles? SHAME ON THEM!! How dare Sesame Street encourage such innocence and uninhibited positive self image reinforcement?

        Secondly, I am going to guess that the adult audience who is most likely to be watching this (parents of toddlers) are the same age as Katy and are dressing just like she is.

      • Kathy McGraw 6 years ago from California

        Oh my...while Katy Perry was certainly a bit more lively than a "Mr. rogers" type...so are our kids. I saw nothing wrong with that Video and would have let all my grandkids watch it :) It think we have too many prudes deciding what is appropriate or not...including parents, if this is an indication!

      Katy Perry Lamina Framed Poster

      Available at AllPosters.com

      Katy Perry's Outfit: Appropriate!

      In the Blue Corner...

      *Don't see anything wrong it it myself... She's wearing far more than some people do out on the streets. Pity they pulled it - I think it's really well done.

      *Haha you serious? You can't see anything! Kids would see more walking down the street in summer than in this

      *I've watched it. Seriously, what is wrong with the Sesame Street producers for pulling this? there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING sexual or revealling in this film clip.

      *Seriously.... What child would be looking at her in that way... Don't know about everyone else but when I was watching Sesame Street I was watching it for Bert and Ernie or the letter of the day!!! Any child that is even able to comprehend what she is wearing could do an internet search and find a lot more revealing outfits of Katy Perry...

      *From what I can see of that dress. it seems to be a lot like Tinkerbell's dress or The Little Mermaid's top.

      Totally inappropriate. Elmo is completely naked. What were they thinking letting Elmo run around completely nude?

      Katy Perry's Outfit: Inappropriate!

      In the Red Corner...

      *This is great news.The culture of children's TV is changing and I'm not liking it one little bit! Where are the cartoons we used to enjoy watching back in the day. Let children's TV just be for children, rather than celebrities just representing themselves!

      *A wise decision. Why she or the producers of the clip thought her outfit was ever appropriate is beyond me, it's tv for young children, not adolescent males. I think that if they want to use her fine, but make sure she dresses appropriately next time. The sad thing is that there had to be complaints in the first place. Commonsense has been abandoned well and truly into today's society.

      *Totally appropriate if you don't mind your kids dressing the same way when they play dress ups, or giggling together because they can see 'boobies'. Children's TV needs a swift kick up the backside - or more to the point, parents do because they are the ones allowing their kids to be 'dumbed down' and 'sexed up' by television.

      *I'm the first to admit that I'm pretty open to women wearing clothing that reveals a bit of cleavage (as I do!), but that dress is showing just too much for a children's program!

      *For goodness sake, this is a children's program! She even runs with her arms across her chest - just in case they jump out!

      Sesame Street, TV Poster from 2003 Giclee Print

      Available at AllPosters.com

      About Your Author

      With each article, Richard invites you to step into his world of music, television and entertainment. He will introduce you to British Glam Rock, share The 20 Scariest Film Scores Ever? and even give you an up close look at some classic actors such as Christopher Lee as Dracula.


      For a complete list of Richard's articles, please visit Richard's profile.

      Thank you for joining me and contributing to this very pressing issue. I look forward to reading any additional comments you may have.

      Katy & Elmo Would Love to Hear From You!

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        • Paul Ward profile image

          Paul 5 years ago from Liverpool, England

          I like neither, but I defend her singing and her cleavage's right to be heard.

        • whiteskyline lm profile image

          whiteskyline lm 5 years ago

          There is something hilarious about this, whilst at the same time, it is a real issue at hand that effects the future generations of the young. You've picked a good one Waxing-Lyrical. I think I may be a tad blunt for one of this nature.

        • AHERMITT LM profile image

          AHERMITT LM 6 years ago

          Would have been a great way to get Dad to watch Sesame Street with the kids.

        • profile image

          bsblmike2 6 years ago

          interesting lens to say the least

        • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

          Kathy McGraw 6 years ago from California

          Hey Rich...came back with some Angel Dust...and see you have some new Videos...also the top Twitter thing on here right now says response from Katy Perry :) Anyway...consider this blessed :)

        • nightbear lm profile image

          nightbear lm 6 years ago

          Excellent lens, actually thought provoking. How do we protect the kids? and how much protection do they need? Very interesting responses.

        • retta719 profile image

          Loretta 6 years ago from United States

          @WhitePineLane: ROFL! darn those naked monsters and giant yellow birds running amuck on Sesame Street!

        • retta719 profile image

          Loretta 6 years ago from United States

          I think Tinkerbell shows more skin than Katy in this appearance ~ I really don't get why the skit was pulled at all. My kids are well past the Sesame Street watching age nowadays, but I certainly wouldn't have complained about this skit at all, I thought it was a fun play on Katy's song. I can't help but wonder if the complaint has more to do with things other than her outfit.

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          WhitePineLane 6 years ago

          @KathyMcGraw2: That's me, the wise one. ;-)

        • TreasuresBrenda profile image

          Treasures By Brenda 6 years ago from Canada

          @WhitePineLane: I loved that one, too.

        • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

          Kathy McGraw 6 years ago from California

          I love the comment from WhitePineLane who changed her mind about the initial use of the word "prude". I used it too...an initial gut reaction...and not so sure if some of these people that complained aren't prudes but then again some aren't. Thank you WhitePineLane for that wise statement :)

        • TreasuresBrenda profile image

          Treasures By Brenda 6 years ago from Canada

          Excellent lens...but I don't see your response in the debate, do I?

        • drifter0658 lm profile image

          drifter0658 lm 6 years ago

          To add to what WhitePineLane says...he also has some guy's hand...well...you know...just how perverted is that?

        • profile image

          WhitePineLane 6 years ago

          I should also add that my favorite blurb is the one in the red box about it being inappropriate because Elmo's completely naked. Yeah! What about that?!? ;-D

        • profile image

          WhitePineLane 6 years ago

          I LOVE the picture in the intro mod. Perfect! This is a good debate, and I feel sorry that I said "Gosh 'prudes'" in my response above. Just because you think the video should be pulled doesn't necessarily man you are prudish, and that was wrong of me. Great lens!

        • pkmcruk profile image

          pkmcr 6 years ago from Cheshire UK

          Okay this had completely passed me by! However it's a great debate lens and well constructed with some good thoughts on both sides. Blessed by a passing Squid Angel :-)

        • TonyPayne profile image

          Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

          Great debate lens. I have to admit I am not a fan of Sesame Street. Some of the things they teach kids are to me just wrong, like years ago when big bird was telling kids about how one of their friends had to see a psychiatrist. When I was 5 I don't think I had even heard the word, let alone knew what it was. There are too many adult innuendo comments on the show, and I have to say that the characters are incredibly annoying, especially Elmo, who I would love to use for target practice.

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          Joan4 6 years ago

          Well, as a grandma of two little ones -- tho older than preschool - the outfit does not concern me nearly as much as the song! I could not understand the words! lol I am sure the children could. super subject for discussion!

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          grannysage 6 years ago

          I had to think really hard about this one, as I am against censoring. But you have to think about your audience when performing. I wish the duel could have a gray area, not just yes or no. But in the end, I had to go with the strongest feeling, which is that there is a right place for everything, and that was not the place.

        • SusanDeppner profile image

          Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

          Great topic for a debate. I have to wonder how Katy might feel about herself, looking back, someday when she has children.

        • Heather426 profile image

          Heather Burns 6 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

          nice duel about Katy Perry. With all the stuff she does, it seems weird that this video caused a stir! funny. I agree with what Deborah Bryan said. Little kids don't even think in sexual terms, they just streak around naked on a whim. Big adoo over nothing!

        • purplelady profile image

          purplelady 6 years ago

          Much Ado About Nothing! Sometimes some parents censor the wrong things.

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          anonymous 6 years ago

          As I said in the duel module, I wonder if these same parents turn off their televisions every time a Victoria's Secrets commercial comes on. Do they let their children go swimming at pools, water parks and beaches? Just saying...

        • profile image

          aishu19 6 years ago

          Nice job with this lens..honestly people have to create a hoo hah out of everything.. hee hee..and take the innocence out of toddler programs

        • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

          Kathy McGraw 6 years ago from California

          And did you hear that snide remark about it wasn't just the dress....it was that she "jingled" down the street....oh that was just too much for me! I agree I want to not see sexually suggestive things on a preschoolers broadcast...but I didn't see this as over the top.

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          Now who would have ever thought you'd get this lens idea out of you know where?

          Nice job.

        • justholidays profile image

          justholidays 6 years ago

          The page is interesting, sadly my browser didn't support the video in addition to the huge weight of the lens, so I couldn't check the video and, therefore, can't take part to the debate. I'll get back the day Squidoo would be lighter for both my computer and browser. Otherwise it's really interesting ;)