After taking the internet by storm a couple of weeks ago for checking in on all his friends, our beloved Elmo went viral once again, this time with his friends making sure he was okay after being attacked by Larry David onTODAY.
The Sesame Street muppet took to X, formerly Twitter, on January 29 to ask:
"How is everybody doing?"
The responses, however, were overwhelmingly bleak, with the masses responding with a collective "not okay."
Elmo acknowledged people's struggles and tweeted soon after:
"Wow! Elmo is glad he asked!"
"Elmo learned that it is important to ask a friend how they are doing."
"Elmo will check in again soon, friends! Elmo loves you. ❤️"
And Elmo followed through, appearing on the TODAY show alongside his dad to discuss the importance of emotional wellness given the reactions to his initial tweet.
But just after his conversation, Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David approached the Muppet, grabbed and shook him and then punched him in the head as Elmo's father attempted to intervene by expressing the importance of consent and asking David to stop.
People were both shocked and furious over David's actions, but many also blew off the incident as "on-brand" behavior for the writer, actor and producer.
But Wil Wheaton is not one of those people.
The Star Trek actor took to Facebook to call out David for his "tone-deaf" assault on the Muppet, and in a 900-word essay, Wheaton laid out all the reasons David's attack on Elmo was an "appalling, unforgivable, despicable act."
Wheaton began his post:
"So I heard about Larry David assaulting Elmo on life television, but didn't watch it until now, because I knew it would upset me. Holy sh*t it's even worse than I thought. What the f**k is wrong with that guy?"
"Elmo is, like, the best friend to multiple generations of children. In the Sesame Street universe, ELMO IS A CHILD, who is currently putting mental health and caring for others in the spotlight. And Larry F**king David ... did ... that? And thought it was going to be ... funny? What?"
"What an a**hole. What a stupid, self-centered, tone deaf a**hole."
He continued, explaining that the attack on Elmo immediately brought him flashes of his abusive childhood.
"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."
"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.”
The actor then questioned David's motive, especially considering Elmo was on the show to promote kindness.
"I really want to know what raced through his tiny little mind, and why there was no voice or person who spoke up to stop him from expressing violence towards a children's puppet WHO WAS THERE TO TALK ABOUT HOW HIS LOVE AND EMPATHY FOR PEOPLE HAVING A TOUGH TIME MATTERED AND MADE A DIFFERENCE."
"Elmo and his dad were there to talk about empathy, love, kindness, and caring for each other."
Wheaton used the next few paragraphs to compare David's character and actions versus those of Elmo.
He finished his post:
"I hope that, when the dust settles, Larry David's appalling behavior will be a footnote to a larger story about how, for just one day, a Muppet made a difference and helped millions of people who are struggling to feel a little less alone."
"With one question, Elmo got lots and lots of people speaking openly and honestly about their mental health. A nontrivial number of people who none of us will ever know were inspired by it, and that was the last little nudge they needed to make the call or send the email to being healing."
"Elmo probably saved lives and relationships by opening that conversation.A man who would belittle and mock that isn't much of a man at all. Shame on you, Larry David."
A handful of people in the comments joked about a 51-year-old man being triggered by David attacking a puppet, but Wheaton had a message for them, as well.
"Listen, if you're here to dismissively blather on about how I can't take a joke, or it was just a joke, or I'm too sensitive, or whatever else comes from your Bag of Invalidation, please just leave."
"A lot of us who had the same visceral reaction to a grown man putting his hands on a child (Elmo is 4 years old) in anger, without consent, and then laughing about it all share an experience that you should be grateful you don't share with us."
"And when you say your sh*tty little toxic and cruel thing, when you reduce the whole thing to a puppet and a joke, you're doing to us what the adults around us did when we were kids. And it hurts all over again."
"Are you really someone who wants to hurt another person simply because you can? Maybe take the impulse to be a jerk and redirect it into being grateful you have no idea why this is so upsetting to so many of us."
Others, however, commended Wheaton for using his own experiences to speak out against David's actions and for articulating why the incident was beyond inappropriate.
While David was forced to apologize to Elmo on air during the TODAY Show broadcast, the apology certainly didn't seem sincere.
And based on his conversation on Late Night With Seth Meyersit most definitely was not.
He told the host:
“Elmo was talking. I was waiting to be interviewed. And Elmo was (in Elmo voice) going on about mental health."
"And I had to listen to every word. And I was going, ‘Oh my God! Oh my God! I don’t think I can take another second of this!’
"And I got off my chair and I approached him. And I throttled him."
"There you go. I couldn’t take it...And you know what, I would do it again.”
Well, that's a shame.