Good Times, bad Times

anti semitic elmo new york cityTimes Square is one of New York’s hottest tourist’s attractions. Not in the last place because of the naked cowboy. But also because of the many costumed characters that are walking around. Now a councilman is threatening the existence of Sesame Street and Nickelodeon characters on Times square, by drafting a bill.

The proposed bill initiated by councilman Dan Garodnick may prevent characters like Elmo or Spongebob populating Times Square. The reason? Copyright issues.

A man in a Woody (center) in Times Square the day after a man in a similar costume was arrested for sexual abuse against girls.

Although it may seem harmless, Garodnick claims it is unlawful: “Our feeling is that there’s honest folks out there trying to make a living, but there’s also folks there trying to take advantage of people. This is a business activity that can be regulated like any other.” Registering all the street artists will help weed out the bad ones, and will assist police to identify the ones who have crossed the line.

Recently, a street performer dressed as the “Toy Story” character Woody was busted for grabbing the buttocks of two young women. Last year, a Cookie Monster was arrested for shoving a 2-year-old boy when his mom wouldn’t pay him for taking a picture with the toddler. And then there was the infamous anti-Semitic Elmo who was busted after going on a rant about Jews.

Copyright giveth (commercial) lives, and it taketh away. Elmo, Winnie the Pooh, Spiderman and Mickey Mouse may need a license to cheer up the streets of New York.

Erwin Hauër

“Hoop is geen strategie.”

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