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"Sesame Street" started previewing its 41st season on the Web this week, releasing teaser clips featuring stars like Jude Law, Will.i.am, Colin Farrell, and Run-DMC's Reverend Run. One of the shorts, however, got a lot more attention than the rest: a two-and-a-half minute video of pop star Katy Perry singing a reworked version of her 2008 hit "Hot N Cold" with Elmo. The issue: the perception that Perry's outfit wasn't appropriate for a show geared toward children ages one to six.
After the clip hit YouTube Monday, Gawker ran a story that called attention to the video and Katy's look. Parents checking out the video began leaving critical comments like, "Couldn't she wear something that was more. oh idk. APPROPRIATE" and "I DO NOT want my five year old lookin at [that]!" But, as TMZ notes, Perry wasn't actually half-naked -- her outfit featured a flesh-colored mesh top that went all the way up to her neck, like a figure-skating costume.
Sesame Workshop, the company that produces the show, responded to the controversy this morning by announcing that producers have decided to pull the song from the broadcast version of the program. The clip will remain online at KatyPerry.com, however, so the singer's more mature fans can watch it. "'Sesame Street' has always been written on two levels, for the child and adult," reads a statement from the show. "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 original version of "Hot N Cold" depicts a less kid-friendly on-and-off romance, and includes words that wouldn't end up on network televsion, let alone a children's show. Perry cleaned up the song for "Sesame Street," singing instead about wanting to play dress-up with Elmo, who has decided to run off and play tag instead. As the singer chases the beloved puppet around a cartoon city, she sings, "You're up and you're down/You're running around/You're fast then you're slow/you stop then you go."
Perry tweeted about her visit to one of the world's most famous neighborhoods a day ago, writing: "I can totally tell you how to get to Sesame Street! I've been, Elmo & I hang out." When she taped the show back in March, Perry sent a Twitpic of herself, arm around the fuzzy red puppet, with the caption: "Sunny day today! I think I'm in lurv... Sorry @rustyrockets!!!" (Rustyrockets refers, of course, to her fiance, Russell Brand.)
Neither Perry nor her representatives have issued any statements about the video being pulled from the show.