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Pino without a head

Wikia got an e-mail today from José van Os [1], who's a script editor at NPS, the production company for Sesamstraat. He wasn't sure how to contact folks on the wiki, so he sent the message to the Wikia community team. Here's the e-mail:

Dear Wikia,

Pino is a highly popular character on Sesamstraat, a daily Dutch television show for young children. It's important to the editorial team, to the puppeteers and the whole crew to keep our characters alive as they are shown on television. That's why it's a common known and respected wish not to present uncovered pictures of Pino, Tommie, Ieniemienie or Purk. The puppeteers themselves try to keep out of publicity.

Your Muppet Wiki shows a picture of Pino with his neck 'broken', he's uncovered and it's puppeteer is clearly visible.

I want to ask you kindly to remove those pictures and if possible refuse them in the future. That would be appreciated.

Best regards,

José van Os redactie Sesamstraat

I think the pictures that he's talking about are: Erik J. Meijer, Renée Menschaar and possibly Dirk Grijspeirt.

Does anyone have thoughts? It's a shame, cause we like to show behind-the-scenes info, but I think if the Sesamstraat producers make a request that we ought to respect it. We could also write back to him directly with an answer or any further questions. What do people think? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 18:41, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

I agree it's a shame, but we're pretty much beholden to everyone, given all the copyrighted images on the Wiki, so, if for none other than practical reasons, I think we should honor the request.— Tom (talk) 18:50, December 7, 2009 (UTC)
I think we should take them down; they were very polite about asking and I thought we did generally take down pictures down in such cases. That said, it rings a chord for me with Carroll Spinney refusing to break the illusion of Big Bird when he appeared on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood (and thus only showing up in the land of imagination). I think it's a reasonable request. Plus I'm not sure how much it adds to have these guys half-dressed as Pino on the page instead of a regular picture; yes it's nice for the wiki but I think not critical. However, perhaps we could respond and ask if they have other photos of the performers that they use instead that show the characters.... -- Wendy (talk) 19:14, December 7, 2009 (UTC)
Ditto what Wendy said. The "neck broken" image is clearly the Renée Menschaar image, and looking at it, that is kind of disturbing (doing a Google Image search, I actually couldn't find us for "Pino" "Sesamstraat," as far as any iffy pics go, giving up after the 28th page, but that doesn't rule out the possibility and I can appreciate the Sesamstraat folks not wanting the images floating around). Definitely the Menschaar image is the primary concern so we should take it out as quickly as possible and let the producer know we've done so. Actually, looking at the image file itself, there was an earlier version uploaded by Nick sans puppet, but it doesn't look like the same woman to me. Nick got his from this French blog entry, which has a half-in-suit image which is blurry but a closer match to the Pino-less pic, so I'm wondering if our current picture *is* even of Menschaar in the first place, rather than another puppeteer or crew member. We usually trust Paul (who uploaded the "broken neck" pic) on the Sesamstraat stuff, but in this case it seems likely that one of the images is incorrectly labeled. We should ask Jog about it, and if the puppet-free one is the right person, just revert to that and delete the problem one.
We should also ask the producer about the other two. The images seem to be the issue, not the text, given the combination of the language divide and the age of any visitors where this would be an issue. Meijer likely presents the same issue only without being compounded by seeing a limp Pino, but Dirk Grijspeirt is in black and white and it's less obvious, even to me at first glance, what the actual context is based on the picture alone. So that one might be okay; if not, unlike the other two, it would be easy to crop to just leave the face or, at worst, the one feather tickling the neck. So to sum up, tell him we're taking down the Menschaar image, ask about Grijspeirt (*maybe* Meijer but I'm not optimistic) and asking if they have other images we can use is a good idea. We'll be careful to avoid any Sesamstraat photos of puppeteers in the same frame as their character (looking around, those are the only ones that I can find), and make sure we let Paul know (since he uploads the most Sesamstraat images) so we're all on the same page. Addendum: Aha, we have one on Judith Broersen (which doesn't show much but it's not a very clear or effective picture anyway, so combined with the request we should dump it) and on Catherine van Woerden (a nice picture, actually, but we can crop out Ieniemienie). I just found Stef Van der Linden but I'd actually be surprised if they took issues with that one, since it's with the early Tommie and utterly unrecognizable (except to hardcore Sesamstraat fans too old to be disillusioned) as the same character, with neither that puppet nor the performer being involved today. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:29, December 7, 2009 (UTC)
I Think they meand about the one from Renee Menschaar.. Because Erik J. Meijer uses this picture on his own legal web. But sending an email back to the NPS is a good idea this way we have their blessing on the pictures as well... I should mail them also that they send us better pictures that we can and may use instead of the ones they liked to see us remove! (Greetings Paul 22:06, December 7, 2009 (UTC))
PS Jose is a girl name in the Netherlands (Greetings Paul 22:07, December 7, 2009 (UTC))

Okay -- thanks to everybody for giving their thoughts! I took down the pictures of Renee Menschaar and Erik J. Meijer, and I sent this e-mail:

Hi there --

Wikia forwarded me your message about the Pino pictures on Muppet Wiki. My name's Danny, and I'm one of the founders of the wiki. I'm happy to help you out with this.

I believe the pictures that you were objecting to were on the Renée Menschaar and Erik J. Meijer pages. We've taken those pictures down, and we'll replace them with more appropriate photos.

I apologize for causing you and your team concern. We love Sesamstraat, and we wouldn't want to do anything to hurt the show or the audience. Our use of those pictures was just a result of wanting to find the best pictures to represent those performers. If you have any pictures of the performers that you would prefer us to use, then we would be happy to use them!

I hope that you and your team see the love and respect that we have for your work. Please feel free to write to me if you have any concerns or questions about the wiki. Thank you!

-- Danny Horn

So that ought to take care of it; I'll let you know if I hear back from them! -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 23:15, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

I heard back from our pal Jogchem, a long-time friend of Tough Pigs and Muppet Wiki who now works for Sesamstraat. He explained to me that the Sesamstraat producers and performers are especially careful about not publicizing the puppeteers, so as not to break the illusion. He said it's very different from the American Sesame or The Muppet Show, where you see behind the scenes pics all over the place.
Renée Menschaar is especially sensitive about this -- and we even say that in the article, duh! So I've replaced the pictures on Menschaar and Meijer's pages with stock pictures of Pino. We'll have to remember to take special care with the Sesamstraat puppeteers, out of respect.
I asked Jogchem to let everybody at the Straat know that we love them, and are happy to work with them. And also if they have a spare episode list floating around, it would be great to send it our way... :) -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 19:16, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
Ah, that explains it. I was wondering why Renée looks exactly like Pino. :)— Tom (talk) 19:21, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
Isnt it better to use updated version of the Pino from the time the performer performed him? (Greetings Paul 15:26, December 18, 2009 (UTC))

External link

Is there a reason why a humor link is conected to this article as external link? Because there are lots of homemade funny pictures about Muppets online for lots of characters. However its not related to the official ideas of the program?(Pino 22:26, 13 November 2008 (UTC))

Ive deleted the link due it was not really sesame street minded. Funny but not serious (Pino 23:08, 15 November 2008 (UTC))

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