Jews are the least of Elmo’s problems.
Four days after a man dressed in an Elmo suit was forcibly ejected from Central Park for spewing anti-Semitic propaganda, an article revealed his frightening past. In Thursday’s New York Times, columnist Michael Wilson spoke with the man, Adam Sandler of Ashland, Ore, about a failed lewd venture he launched in Cambodia. (He said he changed his first name from Dan to Adam, after the ensuing publicity). The site featured brutal, interactive videos where Asian women were tortured in front of the camera and viewers were charged by the minute.
When asked that the site may promote violence against women, he retorted “Good.”
“I hate those [women],” he told a news reporter in 1999. “They’re out of line and that’s one of the reasons I want to do this … I’m going through a divorce right now… I hate American women.”
After the ensuing publicity, he was arrested in Cambodia. The United States government intervened and he was deported instead of serving a possible five-year prison sentence for human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
After moving back to America, he worked for the Girls Scouts of America as a temp.
Seems like a natural transition.
Two videos on Youtube were posted about his newest gig as Elmo. (Caution, both these videos contain inappropriate language.)
In Central Park he ranted about “the Jewish costume companies” and advised people to read “The International Jew.”
“That is the scariest Elmo I’ve ever seen,” one of the women said.
A second video shot in June 5 outside Toys R Us in Times Square had him bashing the kids entertainment system Leap Frog as an “International Jewish toy.”
Though as to whether Elmo was an actual danger to kids, Lenore Skenazy, author of “Free Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry)” and the blog by the same name, downplayed any danger from Elmo.
“It’s harder for a giant red furry cartoon character to pose a big threat,” she said. “It’s not like they’re going to tear off unnoticed or elude the police for very long.”
“As disgusting as this Elmo’s anti-Semitism is, I can’t imagine any children being permanently harmed by his rant, or even by his creepiness,” she continued. “Anyone who grew up in New York before gentrification remembers what it was like when you couldn’t walk down the sidewalk without hearing someone ranting about some conspiracy. No one took it to heart. Kids are far more resilient than we give them credit for. Not every weird or upsetting incident has that much impact on them, if any. It’s part of the kaleidescope of life.”
Wilson concluded his NYT article saying that while Sandler was not in the park on Wednesday, he had managed to sneak back in the day before.
About the Author: Michael Orbach is the Senior New York Correspondent for JewishPress.com. His work has appeared in the JTA, The Forward, The Jewish Week and Tablet. He was previously the editor-in-chief of the Jewish Star newspaper in Long Island. He is finishing up a novel.
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