Romney targeted the wrong muppet, claim victims

Former Governor Mitt Romney refused to answer questions from reporters Monday morning over charges that he targeted the wrong muppet in his election campaign. Leaving his Belmont MA home to attend a series of business meetings, the president-elect took the time to strap and secure three yelping chocolate labradors to his car's roof, while ignoring clamoring protestors and reporters in front of his mansion gates.

As he tightened a harness around the neck of Snickers, the latest addition to his car dog collection - bringing the canine's head down so that it was flush with the roof - Mr. Romney ignored the chants that he should have called for "Not Big Bird's head, but Elmo's instead [on the block]".

The Sesame Street scandal - involving Elmo - is an American remake of the crisis that struck the BBC earlier this year, when the late television and radio presenter Jimmy Savile was exposed as a serial sex offender responsible for indecent acts over the course of some four decades. Critics claim that the US version of the scandal will not be as successful as its British predecessor, with many insisting that late broadcasting icon Dick Clark - rather than Elmo - would have been far better qualified to play "Jimmy Savile".

"Dick's longevity is similar to that Jimmy Savile guy. He's also recently passed, he was into his music... he really ticks all the boxes - unlike Elmo, who just tickles," one pop culture blogger was reported as saying. "Come to think of it, Elmo doesn't even do the tickling. He's the Ticklee. The Tickler, he ain't. #itschipsnotcrispsyoustupidbollocks"

Similar attempts at "translantication" have caused controversy on both sides of the Atlantic in the past. American remakes such as The Office and Three's Company indicate that the tradition has a rich and fruitful history.

Image sourced from Wikipedia

However, in 2009 professional dancer Anton duBeke - on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing - told his celebrity dance partner Laila Rouass that she "looks like a Paki" after she had applied spray tan. Ms. Rouass rightly took exception to the comment. On ABC's Dancing with the Stars, meanwhile, the re-enactment was not a success: Singer-actress Mya Harrison's professional dancing partner Dmitry Chaplin was given "a ten minute window" by producers to describe Ms Harrison "in the worst of racially derogatory terms" while they rehearsed. With members of Ms Harrison's family present to watch the rehearsals, the footage has been described by commentators as some of the most uncomfortable in the history of television.

 © Glenn Francis,

2009 also saw efforts at racism in other versions of the popular franchise worldwide, with the insulting comments in the Indian version of the format - Slumdog Dancer - causing confusion, when the celebrity and her equally high-caste professional dancer described each other in offensive but identical terms.

Meanwhile, President-Elect Romney was seen Monday evening returning home with a loaf of bread, a container of milk and a stick of butter. Unroofing his yelping and traumatised pets, he made an appeal to the press to permit him "time to reflect" while he clarified his "Sesame Street policy" until his inauguration in mid January, "or as soon as those missing ballot boxes show up".