German Neo-Nazis Using Cookie Monster to Recruit Kids (Report)
The "Sesame Street" character has become a symbol for the extremist movement, according to police.
German neo-Nazis are using Cookie Monster to spread their extremist ideology to kids.
Bradenburg police arrested a well-known right-wing extremist dressed in a Cookie Monster costume while he and an accomplice were handing out leaflets that read "To Be German Is Cool" at a school in Senftenberg, a police spokeswoman told NBC News.
The cops later found other neo-Nazi material on the suspects' computers, including a picture of Cookie Monster with Adolf Hitler, according to the Daily Mail.
The two men, both in their 30s, were released pending official charges and further investigations, NBC News added.
A police spokesman told the Daily Mail that the Sesame Street character is increasingly being used as a symbol of the far right, particularly to recruit children.
"There is nothing humorous about far-right ideology despite the fact they are trying to trivialize it by getting the Sesame Street character involved," the spokesman said. "It’s an attempt to make it seem harmless and everyday and perhaps something a bit fun and a bit rebellious."
Experts told NBC News that neo-Nazi groups and individuals are searching for new ways to draw attention to their racist ideologies and are particularly promoting their "National Death" campaign, which refers to what they perceive as the degradation of the German race in a multicultural society.
This is the second blow to the reputation of the Sesame Street character in a year after a man dressed up like Cookie Monster in Times Square allegedly pushed a 2-year-old to the ground over a tip dispute with the kid's mom.
Sesame Workshop has not yet responded to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment.