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Entries in Sesame Workshop (3)

Monday
Oct172011

Sesame Street YouTube Channel Hacked with Porn

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sesame Street’s YouTube channel was back up Monday after being shut down when hackers took over the site and replaced the videos with porn.

For about 20 minutes Sunday, visitors to the YouTube channel of the popular children’s show saw hardcore porn instead of Elmo and Big Bird.  The channel has nearly 150,000 subscribers, and usually hosts dozens of clips from the PBS program.

But Sunday, the hackers replaced the page’s banner to read, “SESAME STREET: I’TS [sic] WHERE PORN LIVES.” In the profile description, the hackers wrote: “WHO DOESN’T LOVE PORN KIDS? RIGHT! EVERYONE LOVES IT...PLEASE DON’T LET SESAME STREET TO GET THIS ACCOUNT BACK KIDS...WE GONNA MAKE ALL THE AMERICA HAPPY!”

The banner pinned the hacking on two YouTube users, MrEdxwx and MrSuicider91. MrSuicider91 has yet to comment; MrEdxwx posted a video on his own channel stating, “I did not hack Sesame Street. I am an honsest [sic] youtuber. I work hard to make quality gameplay videos and most important I respect the community guidelines.”

It’s unclear how the hacking happened, and no one has come forward to claim responsibility.

After the hacking, the channel was shut down by YouTube due to “repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines” which ban explicit material from the website.

Sesame Workshop, the organization behind Sesame Street, issued an apology after the hacking Sunday, and said in a statement on its YouTube channel: “We apologize for any inconvenience our audience may have experienced yesterday…our channel was temporarily compromised, but we have since restored our original line-up.”

A YouTube spokesperson told ABC News that “YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit graphic content. As always, we remove inappropriate material as soon as we are made aware of it.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug122011

Bert, Ernie Don't Have Sexual Orientation, Says 'Sesame Street'

Moritz Winde/Bongarts/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Are they gay?  It's the age-old -- well, several-years-old -- question intriguing fans of muppets Bert and Ernie.

On Thursday, Sesame Street weighed in on Facebook:

"Bert and Ernie are best friends.  They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves.  Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."

The controversy emerged most recently with an online petition suggesting Bert and Ernie be allowed to marry.  Thousands of same-sex couples have been married in New York since gay marriage was legalized in the Empire State in July.  So why not Bert and Ernie?

Chicago resident Lair Scott started the online petition at Change.org to pressure the Sesame Street Workshop to "Let Bert & Ernie get married on Sesame Street."  The petition reads, "We are not asking Sesame Street to do anything crude or disrespectful...It can be done in a tasteful way.  Let us teach tolerance of those that are different."  The petition has collected more than 1,600 signatures.

But are Bert and Ernie even gay, never mind ready for the ultimate commitment?  Scott clearly thinks so.

In an interview with ABC News, Scott said, "A lot of people have wondered about Bert and Ernie...Living in the same bedroom and the same home would make anyone question their sexuality."

His aim, he added, is to get 20,000 petitioners to encourage the Sesame Workshop to either marry Bert and Ernie or introduce a gay or lesbian character.

A few days before he posted the marriage petition, Scott had generated another, asking Sesame Workshop to "Out Bert and Ernie as Gay."

For a couple of puppets geared toward preschoolers, Bert and Ernie have generated controversy over the years, centered primarily around their sexual orientation.

The rumor mill went into overdrive last year when Bert wrote on the Sesame Street twitter account that his haircut resembled Mr. T's -- "the only difference is mine is a little more 'mo, a little less 'hawk."  That was enough to convince many bloggers that the Sesame Workshop was secretly signaling Bert's sexual orientation.

But the folks on Sesame Street have always pushed back against the rumors.  In 2007, Sesame Workshop president and CEO Gary Knell wrote, "They are not gay, they are not straight, they are puppets...they do not exist below the waist."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep232010

Sesame Street Confirms It's Pulling Katy Perry From Show 

(NEW YORK) -- Following a report on TMZ.com, Sesame Workshop, the producers of Sesame Street, have confirmed that they will not air singer Katy Perry's appearance on an upcoming episode of the show.  TMZ had reported that some parents had complained about a YouTube clip of the appearance, which featured Perry wearing a fifties-style party dress with a low-cut front.

The New York Times reports that in a statement, Sesame Workshop said, "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."

The video was available on YouTube Thursday morning, but was then removed.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio