"Sesame Street" has run hot and cold on a Katy Perry performance of "Hot N Cold" taped over the summer to run during the 41st season of the venerable children's educational show.
But Thursday, the show's production company, Sesame Workshop, announced it was no longer airing the 2 1/2-minute clip, in which pop-singer Perry chases Elmo while singing a cleaned-up version of her 2008 hit.
Without identifying specific concerns, a Workshop statement 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."
As of yesterday afternoon, the clip does not appear on the "Sesame Street" YouTube page, though it does appear at Perry's official site and elsewhere.
The clip shows Perry, 25, in a low-cut, bright-green retro gown, with a sheer mesh panel atop her torso, as in an ice skater's outfit. Despite this, her cleavage remains highly visible, particularly in shots of her running in place facing the viewer.
A nonplussed Perry yesterday wrote on her verified Twitter page, "Wow, looks like my playdate with Elmo has been cut short! If you still wanna play see it at www.katyperry.com Tag you're it, Elmo!"
A spokeswoman for Perry said, "Katy enjoyed working with 'Sesame Street,' [muppeteer] Kevin Clash and playing dress up with Elmo."
The conservative Parents Television Council, which had been outspoken about what it called a "disturbing" performance, cheered the move.
"While there is no doubt that Ms. Perry is an extremely popular performer today, the reality is that millions of families place their unbridled trust in 'Sesame Street' as a source of age-appropriate entertainment for their children and grandchildren," said PTC president Tim Winter.
TMZ reported that parents quickly fired off angry letters after seeing the clip, demanding it not be broadcast. "They're gonna have to rename it cleavage avenue," complained one.
Another wrote: "Wow, talk about inappropriate costume choice for a kids' show. . . . Kids aren't dumb. They may be small and their vocabularies are still growing, but they have HUGE eyes. They love to emulate their TV idols. Terrifying.
Others, though, defended the clip. "I see absolutely nothing wrong with her outfit. . . . I have a 3 year old and he's seen me in less! people today are such prudes," wrote a mom named Heather.