Following the never ending series of drama between costumed performers and tourists in Times Square, City Council is considering regulating all the Cookie Monsters, Iron Men, Elmos, and Super Men seeking tips in the Square.
This isn't a new conversation, as you might remember the controversy over Las Desnudas, the topless women taking photos with tourists this past summer.
The end result would be essentially quarantining the performers who at the moment go anywhere they want.
While there have been instances of performers assaulting people and tourists harassing the performers, it doesn't seem clear who this initiative is meant to protect or punish, and has people on both sides of the equation upset.
Including Keith Albahae, a 49-year-old who dresses as the iconic villain The Joker who seemed to take such a quarantine a little too seriously considering the harassment he's endured, namely tourists spitting on him.
""I defended myself by spitting back," he said. "It's not right, this is apartheid, what's being proposed here. We provide an immense entertainment. The only people who are upset basically are people who want free pictures."
Apartheid? Really? Apartheid. He said apartheid.
But they're not all bad apples, right? We can't hold the lot responsible for the sins of the few, right?
Apparently Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance business group, is aware of this: "We are not saying that all the people dressed in costume behave this way, but there is a consistent and ongoing issue that needs to be dealt with."
The proposed zones would also impact bus tours, and a union representing those at the panel wasn't exactly pleased either saying that they should not be "penalized for somebody else's aggression."
These zones would only allow for between 50 and 55 people at one time, and if the bill passes, it would go into effect by summer. It would cover Times Square as well as the other 52 pedestrian plazas in NYC.
Considering Times Square's past, the prostitute, drug and porn outdoor funhouse, we've come disturbingly far from what used to make the area significantly more badass.
What could we say about ourselves if we rope off Elmo, even if he is violent?[via BBC News] [Feature Image Courtesy Gawker]