It's not uncommon for children (and select adults) to have trouble distinguishing television from reality, and it has to be disconcerting for young ones to watch Cookie Monster shove their playdate when he's supposed to be teaching them the alphabet. The Sesame Street crew thinks this is a problem too, apparently, so they're considering taking legal action against the costumed characters in Times Square.
Errant Elmos, Cookie Monsters and other costumed impostors have been plaguing Times Square passersby for some time now, and the NYPD's begun cracking down on some of the more vicious characters. On Saturday, cops arrested six characters, including Captain America, Jessie from the Toy Story series, and two Spider-Mans, one of whom allegedly slugged a cop in the face. Yesterday, Mayor de Blasio said he was crafting a proposal with City Council that would require costumed characters to carry photo identification and undergo background checks in hopes of cracking down on Muppet crime and panhandlers.
Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization responsible for all those visits to Hooper's Store, say they're concerned kids will get the wrong idea when they see Elmo scream something anti-Semitic at them. "We care about our fans and the image of our brand, and, like everyone else, we care about public safety on our streets,” the company told the Post, noting that the organization is considering taking legal action to prohibit people from donning unauthorized costumes. And to think small children may be deprived of the chance to see their favorite characters try to touch Mommy in her Bad Place.