Sick 'Sesame Street' Hackers Stole Our Kids' Innocence

bert and ernie and wineI'm neither easily offended nor often shocked, but as a mom, I'm definitely offended that Sesame Street's YouTube channel was apparently hacked by users who replaced the ordinarily G-rated content with explicit sex videos. I am not, however, shocked. Sadly. Because this isn't the first time I've heard about a PBS-to-porn prank.

It was around four or five years ago. My son was still a baby. Not a newborn, but young enough to be having some sort of sleep-related crisis having to do with teeth or night-weaning or an ear infection or something. I can't remember what, exactly, because as you might have guessed, I was very, very sleep-deprived at the time.

Anyway, there was just ONE THING that somehow had the power to make my son stop crying. And that thing was a little bald cartoon boy from Canada. Yes, you guessed it ...

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Caillou.

For some reason, that squeaky-voiced 4-year-old was the one and only magic bullet as far as my son was concerned. And so, as far as I was concerned, we could watch that show all stinkin' night if we had to.

For some other reason which remains fuzzy in my memory (on account of the above-mentioned mind-altering fatigue), the only place I could find this requisite Caillou fix was on YouTube. (Maybe the DVD player was broken? Was this before we had "On Demand" service?)

So you can imagine my bleary-eyed disbelief when, searching drowsily for more Caillou, I came across something very disturbing. Very, very disturbing.

Hmm, it sounded like a regular episode of Caillou ... same lobotomizingly dippy theme song, same squeaky voice ... all of the characters looked the same ... but wait a minute ... OMFG!!! What the hell is this, Caillou Learns About Ball Gags??? No, Caillou's Mommy, no! Put that shapeless red sweatshirt with the yellow collar and those hideous mom jeans back on right now!

Thank god my son was too young to be forever scarred by the horror show flickering on my laptop screen. Oh, if only I could say the same for myself.

Look, I have nothing against pranks and I have nothing against (most) porn, but come on, you perverted hackers! Leave the little kid stuff alone! Tricking toddlers into watching hardcore sex scenes (even -- especially! -- if they involve cartoon characters) just ain't cool.

What would you do if you came across a dirty version of your kid's favorite show on YouTube?

 

Image via See-ming Lee/Flickr

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