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Actor Wil Wheaton is slamming Larry David, saying the comedian’s jostling of “Sesame Street” character Elmo this month on morning television stirred up unpleasant memories of childhood trauma.
Wheaton, in an expletive-filled post on Facebook this week, lambasted the creator of “Seinfeld” and Curb Your Enthusiasm” calling the Feb. 1 incident on NBC’s “TODAY” show “appalling,” “unforgivable” and “despicable.”
Wheaton, of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” said in the nearly 900-word post, Elmo’s character is a child who is beloved by multiple generations. He also said when he was young, he was abused by his father. When David grabbed the Muppet by the face and pretended to punch it, the negative memories returned, Wheaton said.
“Full disclosure: all the time, when I was growing up, my dad would grab me by the shoulders and shake me while he screamed in my face. He choked me more than once. He was always out of control, always in a furious rage, and always terrifying,” he wrote. “I’m a 51 year-old man and my heart is pounding right now, recalling how I felt when I was a little boy who loved Grover the way today’s kids love Elmo. So this appalling, unforgivable, despicable act hits more than one raw nerve for me, and I’m going to say what I wish I’d been able to say when this sort of thing happened to me.”
Earlier this month, Elmo appeared on on “TODAY” with his father, Louie, to trumpet the importance of emotional wellness after his seemingly innocuous “How is everybody doing?” post on the platform X spiraled into an online trauma dump.
At the end of the “TODAY” segment, David, who appeared on the show afterward, tussled with Elmo.
Elmo responded in the character’s trademark high-pitched voice, “Mr. Larry, Elmo liked you before!” adding, “Sit down on the couch and let’s talk about how you’re feeling.”
While laughing hysterically, David later apologized, saying: “Elmo, I just want to apologize.” He later said, “I’m really sorry. I’m really sorry.”
Wheaton called David’s apology “insincere.”
“Larry David, this was not okay, and your obviously insincere ‘apology’ clearly communicates that you don’t get that,” he said. “First of all, you aren’t even in the segment, but you just decided to barge in and draw focus because … why? You couldn’t stand that a puppet brought people together in a meaningful way that you can’t? You couldn’t stand that your appearance on national television to promote your wildly successful series was delayed for a few seconds while the adults talked about mental health? You wanted to manufacture a viral moment where everyone gets to see what an a—— you are.”
Representatives for David were not immediately reached Friday afternoon.