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(CBS New York)   New York lawmakers to look at regulating costumed characters in Times Square, because for some reason, not everyone wants to be molested by a six-foot tall Elmo. Weirdos   (newyork.cbslocal.com) divider line 76
    More: Followup, costumed characters, tags, street performer  
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1229 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Jul 2014 at 11:15 AM (12 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-10 09:06:20 AM
thenypost.files.wordpress.com

We accept you, one of us! Gooble Gobble!
 
2014-07-10 11:19:23 AM
Probably the best way for them to deal with this would be all the stores and theaters in the area hire their own costumed people and take pictures for free with people.
 
2014-07-10 11:19:48 AM
Anyone who goes to Times Square deserves what they get.
 
2014-07-10 11:19:57 AM
How about rounding them up for wearing masks?
 
2014-07-10 11:20:18 AM

groppet: Probably the best way for them to deal with this would be all the stores and theaters in the area hire their own costumed people and take pictures for free with people.


So molestation is okay as long as it's free. Gotcha.
 
2014-07-10 11:21:44 AM
Getting molested by Elmo in Time Square is at least $45 plus 'tip'.  Two blocks over, it's $20 and Elmo is more than happy to get a whole Jackson.

The more you know....
 
2014-07-10 11:23:04 AM

Russ1642: groppet: Probably the best way for them to deal with this would be all the stores and theaters in the area hire their own costumed people and take pictures for free with people.

So molestation is okay as long as it's free. Gotcha.


If you pay for it, it's not molestation...it's prostitution.
 
2014-07-10 11:23:27 AM
Thank god. It was like an especially bizarre sequence from The Warriors last time I went through there.

MemeSlave: Anyone who goes to Times Square deserves what they get.


My sister and I were going to and from the Garment District on a weekday/night. It was the most convenient route.
 
2014-07-10 11:24:31 AM
Times Square is a joke. For anyone that travels to NYC, spend an hour at night with the bright lights and then get out of there. Many other great sights.
 
2014-07-10 11:24:56 AM

Harry Freakstorm: Getting molested by Elmo in Time Square is at least $45 plus 'tip'.  Two blocks over, it's $20 and Elmo is more than happy to get a whole Jackson.

The more you know....


How much is it to get molested by Big Bird? Just asking for a... ummm... friend.
 
2014-07-10 11:25:40 AM
It's about time.
 
2014-07-10 11:26:28 AM

Grumpy Cat: Times Square is a joke. For anyone that travels to NYC, spend an hour at night with the bright lights and then get out of there. Many other great sights.


The last time I was in Times Square it was loaded with porn shops and the like. This was obviously quite awhile ago (1983).
 
2014-07-10 11:26:29 AM
Why not use the normal "unwanted touching" type laws already on the books?  I see from the article that there have been arrests. Perhaps a couple of these jerks doing some real jail time might get the rest of them in line?
 
2014-07-10 11:26:33 AM

Radioactive Ass: Harry Freakstorm: Getting molested by Elmo in Time Square is at least $45 plus 'tip'.  Two blocks over, it's $20 and Elmo is more than happy to get a whole Jackson.

The more you know....

How much is it to get molested by Big Bird? Just asking for a... ummm... friend.


A friend of a feather, I presume.
 
2014-07-10 11:27:15 AM

Radioactive Ass: Harry Freakstorm: Getting molested by Elmo in Time Square is at least $45 plus 'tip'.  Two blocks over, it's $20 and Elmo is more than happy to get a whole Jackson.

The more you know....

How much is it to get molested by Big Bird? Just asking for a... ummm... friend.


20 bucks. 80 if Mr. Snuffleupagus gives you an around the world.
 
2014-07-10 11:28:32 AM

Radioactive Ass: Grumpy Cat: Times Square is a joke. For anyone that travels to NYC, spend an hour at night with the bright lights and then get out of there. Many other great sights.

The last time I was in Times Square it was loaded with porn shops and the like. This was obviously quite awhile ago (1983).


I was 11 in 1983, growing up in Queens. It was scary in Times Square then. NYC has changed so much. But, such is life.
 
2014-07-10 11:28:38 AM
How much to get molested by a fake Buddhist?
 
2014-07-10 11:32:34 AM

Leopold Stotch: Why not use the normal "unwanted touching" type laws already on the books?  I see from the article that there have been arrests. Perhaps a couple of these jerks doing some real jail time might get the rest of them in line?


The molesting thing is a joke because of the general sketchiness of the costumed characters. They're just aggressive panhandlers that demand tips in exchange for photos. Unless a costumed mascot is holding a sign for a barbeque place down the street these people should be considered suspect to begin with as New Yorkers and tourists aren't exactly walking through Disney World.
 
2014-07-10 11:32:44 AM
The day a man cannot walk around Times Square dressed as an anthropomorphized Shiba Inu while dousing himself in barbecue sauce is the day the terrorists win.
 
2014-07-10 11:34:05 AM

steppenwolf: The day a man cannot walk around Times Square dressed as an anthropomorphized Shiba Inu while dousing himself in barbecue sauce is the day the terrorists win.


Wow. Such doge. Very unhappy.
 
2014-07-10 11:37:35 AM
A tourist said this in TFA: "It's part of the culture down here. It's part of New York City."

No, sir. No it is not.

The Naked Cowboys/girls and other buskers have to deal with regulation and have earned a sort of social contract with people. The Elmos and crappy Hello Kitty knock offs have not.
 
2014-07-10 11:38:32 AM

Grumpy Cat: Times Square is a joke. For anyone that travels to NYC, spend an hour at night with the bright lights and then get out of there. Many other great sights.


I worked in the middle of it for years. Truth be told, there were some decent stores there, some good food in the neighborhood, and plenty of other reasons to be there than stare slack jawed at jumbotrons.

But these guys were a problem 5 or 6 years ago. Today its absolutely out of control.
 
2014-07-10 11:38:33 AM
I blame Iron Man...that fascist.
 
2014-07-10 11:39:10 AM
Maybe they could pass a law that costumed characters must stay at least 35 feet away from the entrance to any of the shops in the area, that blocking or impeding the regular movements of pedestrian traffic shall be a citable offense ($200 per violation - that is, per person impeded - ought to do it), and that unwanted touching or harassment (say, by demanding cash in exchange for a picture no one wanted, and only asking for payment after the pic was taken) becomes simple assault.

// leave Naked Cowboy alone!
 
2014-07-10 11:40:29 AM
Seems like a good place for this:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuouL4WnM9A
 
2014-07-10 11:43:52 AM
But...but... I never get molested by Elmo.

/Damn being a fat, disgusting fark.
 
2014-07-10 11:45:47 AM
They should pass the Keene act, get those costumed creeps off the streets
 
2014-07-10 11:46:37 AM
The Times Square sad mouse

Poor emotionally disturbed guy.
 
2014-07-10 11:47:05 AM

Grumpy Cat: Times Square is a joke. For anyone that travels to NYC, spend an hour at night with the bright lights and then get out of there. Many other great sights.


Absolutely this.  See it, spend a minute to get it into your head and then get the hell out of there.
 
2014-07-10 11:47:28 AM

2BuckChuck: They should pass the Keene act, get those costumed creeps off the streets


img3.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-07-10 11:49:41 AM
I just find Emo's creepy.
What?
NVM
 
2014-07-10 11:53:23 AM
Apparently, not even Elmo...

wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net
 
2014-07-10 11:53:38 AM

2BuckChuck: They should pass the Keene act, get those costumed creeps off the streets


Do not want to be groped by:
www.ieet.org
 
2014-07-10 11:55:36 AM

Dr Dreidel: Maybe they could pass a law that costumed characters must stay at least 35 feet away from the entrance to any of the shops in the area, that blocking or impeding the regular movements of pedestrian traffic shall be a citable offense ($200 per violation - that is, per person impeded - ought to do it), and that unwanted touching or harassment (say, by demanding cash in exchange for a picture no one wanted, and only asking for payment after the pic was taken) becomes simple assault.


The problem, as i understand it from the local news, is that the guys in the costume can just say they are panhandling, not busking. Basically they are trying to tread very lightly on coming up with legislation to handle it because if they goof, they could end up setting precedent that dressing up like elmo and shaking people down for tips, is constitutionally protected.

Everyone seems to agree that the people who own the trademarks to the characters may be in position to better handle this, but someone like sesame street doesn't want to put up with the hassle of going after a guy who you really can't win anything from, short of telling him to stop, but even then, what do you do if he keeps on doing it? Not to mention the precedent that would set if the guy won. Even if they did, you have so many different characters out there, you would need every company with a trademark to do it every time they catch someone in a costume, or people would just switch characters.
 
2014-07-10 11:55:43 AM

Mad Scientist: How much to get molested by a fake Buddhist?


Pear pimples for hairy fishnuts!

/just cough up some dough, Mac
 
2014-07-10 11:56:44 AM

stuffy: I just find Emo's creepy.
What?
NVM



sanjivb.com

/hot
 
2014-07-10 11:57:04 AM
These people are a problem in L.A. too - up on Hollywood Boulevard. They get to fighting with each other over territory, and every couple weeks the LAPD will have to break up Michael Jackson and Spiderman from kicking the shiat out of each other. And they also sometimes assault people who won't pay them.
They also tend to smell bad.
 
2014-07-10 11:57:35 AM
Deportations would fix the issue right away but this is "Sanctuary City" were INS isnt allowed to operate.
 
2014-07-10 11:58:16 AM
Speak for yourself, Subby, speak for yourself!
 
2014-07-10 11:59:43 AM

LineNoise: Grumpy Cat: Times Square is a joke. For anyone that travels to NYC, spend an hour at night with the bright lights and then get out of there. Many other great sights.

I worked in the middle of it for years. Truth be told, there were some decent stores there, some good food in the neighborhood, and plenty of other reasons to be there than stare slack jawed at jumbotrons.

But these guys were a problem 5 or 6 years ago. Today its absolutely out of control.


Hard to find these days now, its all chains. Even "good" chains, like Cosi, Pret, Cafe Metro, etc are annoying when there is one every other block.
 
2014-07-10 12:01:12 PM
Just require them to get a license like the food vendors.

Make them register and go through a background check for safety.  The word safety can justify all kinds of things.

What if for example elmo was really a violent sexual kidnapping predator with probes.  Lots of probes.  We need to make sure the kids are safe
 
2014-07-10 12:05:18 PM

KatjaMouse: Leopold Stotch: Why not use the normal "unwanted touching" type laws already on the books?  I see from the article that there have been arrests. Perhaps a couple of these jerks doing some real jail time might get the rest of them in line?

The molesting thing is a joke because of the general sketchiness of the costumed characters. They're just aggressive panhandlers that demand tips in exchange for photos. Unless a costumed mascot is holding a sign for a barbeque place down the street these people should be considered suspect to begin with as New Yorkers and tourists aren't exactly walking through Disney World.


Actually one was accused of molesting a woman a few weeks ago - http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/times-square-spider-man - accused-groping-woman-article-1.1839135

I can identify with the tourists, there's nothing explicitly saying these jagoffs are well-dressed beggars. One might assume they're sponsored by the stores they're standing outside, or Times Square is like disneyland. You don't really think about it. They'll only ask for the money after the photo is taken. To contrast, the human statues/jugglers/etc in Central Park will have a sign saying they want money or have a tip jar in front of their act.
 
2014-07-10 12:09:52 PM

LineNoise: Dr Dreidel: Maybe they could pass a law that costumed characters must stay at least 35 feet away from the entrance to any of the shops in the area, that blocking or impeding the regular movements of pedestrian traffic shall be a citable offense ($200 per violation - that is, per person impeded - ought to do it), and that unwanted touching or harassment (say, by demanding cash in exchange for a picture no one wanted, and only asking for payment after the pic was taken) becomes simple assault.

The problem, as i understand it from the local news, is that the guys in the costume can just say they are panhandling, not busking. Basically they are trying to tread very lightly on coming up with legislation to handle it because if they goof, they could end up setting precedent that dressing up like elmo and shaking people down for tips, is constitutionally protected.

Everyone seems to agree that the people who own the trademarks to the characters may be in position to better handle this, but someone like sesame street doesn't want to put up with the hassle of going after a guy who you really can't win anything from, short of telling him to stop, but even then, what do you do if he keeps on doing it? Not to mention the precedent that would set if the guy won. Even if they did, you have so many different characters out there, you would need every company with a trademark to do it every time they catch someone in a costume, or people would just switch characters.


These guys don't fit the definition of Buskers (AKA street performers). They are closer to the guys that used to wipe down windshields while cars were stopped at red lights from a couple of decades ago.
 
2014-07-10 12:10:05 PM
Show me on this doll where the Elmo put his furry, red, 8" cock.
 
2014-07-10 12:10:08 PM

LemSkroob: Deportations would fix the issue right away but this is "Sanctuary City" were INS isnt allowed to operate.


Most cities are Sanctuary Cities. Do you know what happens in the illegal immigrant communities? People get raped, killed and robbed because everyone's too scared to call the cops. Having that kind of crap going on is worse than some migrants lacking papers and taking our jobs.

i1.ytimg.com
 
2014-07-10 12:12:18 PM
The last time I was in Time Square I knew enough to understand that these guys are mostly tourist shake-down scammers. I stayed clear of them (don't have kids) but watched them for entertainment value. Sadly there was little action.

I was also in Rome last year. It was amusing to see all of the legionnaires/gladiators doing exactly the same thing. It's a small world, after all.
 
2014-07-10 12:13:02 PM

moothemagiccow: To contrast, the human statues/jugglers/etc in Central Park will have a sign saying they want money or have a tip jar in front of their act.


I'll tip a good street performer, dance, music, juggling etc.  But the human statue thing, I don't get it and will never tip one of them.
 
2014-07-10 12:16:08 PM

groppet: Probably the best way for them to deal with this would be all the stores and theaters in the area hire their own costumed people and take pictures for free with people.


And HERE is the heart of the problem.

We were in NYC a few weeks ago.  We stopped at the Toys R Us in Times Square.  Outside, there were characters taking pics with people.  My daughter ran up to a Minion and I took a picture.  Only then did I realize that this person did not, in fact, work for the store.  Promptly demanded $5 from me.

Needless to say, my daughter (and me) didn't make that mistake again.  Naive as I am, I didn't even know it was legal for people who don't work there to be doing that.  So it didn't occur to me that might happen.

That's NYC for you.  I should have known better.
 
2014-07-10 12:18:52 PM
I used to think these folks were run by Universal, Disney etc as part of the Disnification of Times Square. Turns out they are simply anyone who could get the costume.

So when I leave my building on wednesday night, I need to doge 3 elmos, two batmans, a half dozen minions, four or five nigerians selling bus tours, and three or four wannabe comedians shilling their comedy club with free drink tickets.

Oh let's not forget the tourists and the buses full of bridge and tunnel crowds in town to take in a matinee.

Ugh I hate Times Square. I could leave Manhattan behind without shedding a tear, too.
 
2014-07-10 12:22:02 PM

Tom_Slick: moothemagiccow: To contrast, the human statues/jugglers/etc in Central Park will have a sign saying they want money or have a tip jar in front of their act.

I'll tip a good street performer, dance, music, juggling etc.  But the human statue thing, I don't get it and will never tip one of them.


Saw one in Vegas once that was good.  I mean, good enough at playing a statue that you questioned yourself as to whether or not he really was.  The tip jar was the giveaway of course.

Threw in a 10-spot to that particular one for making me question my own eyes, but yeah, I agree with you for the most part.
 
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