Bert and Ernie
"You'll never believe what I saw, Bert!" Image: See-ming Lee/Flickr/CC BY-SA

“Sesame Street’s” YouTube channel was down Sunday afternoon after hackers infiltrated the family-friendly site. For about 20 minutes on Sunday, sexually explicit material was streamed on the children’s channel.

‘Repeated or severe violations’

After the site went down, a message was inserted from YouTube saying it was down “due to repeated or severe violations of our community guidelines.”

The Sesame Workshop issued the following statements:

“Our channel was compromised and we are presently working with YouTube/Google to restore our original content … We always strive to provide age-appropriate content for our viewers and hope to resolve this problem quickly.”

YouTuber denies accusation

Although the identity of the hackers has not yet been determined, a message posted on the site named two YouTube users. One of them, “MrEdxwx,” denied the accusation.

“I did not hack Sesame Street. I am an honest YouTuber … I work hard to make quality gameplay videos, and most important I respect the community guidelines.”

Racy on ‘Sesame Street’

This is only the most recent of several controversial incidents involving the educational program in recent months. In April, a petition from viewers requested a show depicting a gay marriage between characters Bert and Ernie. Last year the show also drew fire for a duet between Elmo and pop-singer Katy Perry because of her low-cut outfit.

A spokesperson from Sesame Workshop joked with a reporter from the Huffington Post about the recent incident.

“Between this and the Bert and Ernie coming-out petitions, it seems everyone wants ‘The Street’ to teach sex ed.”

Site back online

The site was back up Monday with its normal wholesome content and a statement from Sesame Workshop:

“Our channel was temporarily compromised, but we have since restored our original line-up of the best classic Sesame Street video clips featuring Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, and the rest of the fuzzy, feathered, and googly-eyed friends you remember from childhood.”

Sources

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/16/tech/sesame-street-hacking/
Entertainment Weekly: http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/10/17/sesame-street-porn-hackers/
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/17/hackers-post-pornography-on-sesame-street_n_1015674.html

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