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Barack Obama

Times Square looks to weed out 'creepy' characters

Friday, July 11, 2014 - 01:38

Times Square wants to become even more family friendly than it already is, by potentially forcing people posing as cartoon characters for tourists to be licensed. Mana Rabiee reports.

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New York's Times Square is looking to get even more family friendly. It's bouncing around the idea of forcing the cartoon characters that hang out at Times Square to get licensed . SOUNDBITE: TIM TOMPKINS, PRESIDENT, TIMES SQUARE ALLIANCE, SAYING: "Quirky is fine, creepy is not." Tim Tompkins heads the Times Square Alliance. They've been getting complaints from locals and tourists that some of the people behind those cartoon masks are becoming a big nuisance. SOUNDBITE: TIM TOMPKINS, PRESIDENT, TIMES SQUARE ALLIANCE, SAYING: "Our feeling is that there's honest folks out there trying to make a living, but there's also folks there trying to take advantage of people." Some characters have even been arrested for groping. So one city lawmaker is drafting a bill to weed out troublemakers. It would force the people posing as cartoon characters to be licensed by the city, and hammer out some copyright issues as well. SOUNDBITE: DAN GARDONICK/COUNCILMAN, SAYING: "We're going to try to deal with the line of protecting 1st amendment rights and commercial speech and also protect against what has become garden variety harassment out there." David Franco's been posing as Batman for years. He agrees something needs to be done. SOUNDBITE: DAVID FRANCO, BATMAN IMPERSONATOR, SAYING: "The problem now is there's too much characters you see on one corner- you see the six same costumes." But one tourists asks, is this going too far? SOUNDBITE: DAVE CHAPDELAINE, TOURIST FROM SPRINGFIELD, MA, SAYING: "It's part of the culture down here, it's part of NYC, regulation is fine but over regulation?" Council members behind the character licensing are working with lawyers to hash out the legality of the proposals. There's no clear timeline when a bill could be introduced.

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Times Square looks to weed out 'creepy' characters

Friday, July 11, 2014 - 01:38