Monday, September 27, 2010
La la la la... Elmo too?
WHY??? WHY, ELMO? WHY must you cross over to the dark side? WHYYYYY?
Ok. For those of you who don't know what I'm griping about, I'm afraid I'll be the bearer of bad news. It appears that even the most benign children's entertainment empire ever (aka, Sesame Street), has joined forces with pop culture in the slow fade of morals.
Thankfully, Sesame Street has chosen not to release this controversial segment in their season premiere. They released this statement. "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. 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."
There are oh-so-many things I could say about all of this. I have a statement of my OWN to release.
1. I am not saying that my house is banning Sesame Street. Certainly not... yet. But if this is a precursor to what's down the road for preschool entertainment and children's education, count the Windhams OUT.
2. What Katy Perry was wearing is ABSOLUTELY inappropriate for children to see, especially in their safe zone. Meaning, SS is one of the shows we let our kids watch with little concern. It's warm, fuzzy, and educational. They know we aren't going to march into the living room and demand they turn off that garbage when it comes to Big Bird and the Grouch. Was she practically naked? No. In reality, she wasn't showing anything less than the average bathing suit reveals. But WHY do PRESCHOOLERS need to see CLEAVAGE and ELMO together? What does a skin tight, low cut, lime green dress have to do with educational television for three year olds?
3. The phrase "I think kids have seen those" is EXACTLY what's wrong with our culture. It's the new way of saying, "Well, everybody else is doing it!" In other words, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. We have adopted a whole new normal that is less and less conducive to raising Godly children. We say, "Well, they see worse than that at the beach," and as a result, we let MTV infiltrate our preschoolers through PBS.
4. The fact that at first Matt Lauer thought it was wrong and then convinced himself it was ok is sad. We haven't drawn concrete lines in our morals, so we are at the mercy of whatever TV wants to give us as our societal norms. After all, if it's on Sesame Street, it has to be okay!
5. The days are OVER where we can assume ANYTHING when it comes to our kids. We can't assume that it's okay just because it came from Disney. (PLEASE don't make that mistake.) We can't assume Nickelodeon is safe just because the Backyardigans are adorable and Dora is so chunky and sweet. We can't assume our kids will just take the good stuff from shows and leave the bad stuff behind. THEY WON'T. And we'll wonder why our five year old girls want to start wearing thongs and our four year old boys are making crude comments about girls in their preschool class. And after all... you know what they say happens when you assume something. ;-)
6. Most importantly, we cannot let our hearts become desensitized to what is RIGHT. What is VIRTUOUS. What is BEST. WE are the filter between media and our kids. Period.
So, Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera... just because YOUR kids may have "seen those before" doesn't mean that mine will think it's normal to see cleavage and Elmo together. Ever.
Let's not forget that Sesame Street's target audience is kids, aged 2-5.
***BIG SAD SIGH HERE***