"We would never produce anything we thought was inappropriate. We were surprised not only by the amount of feedback, but how fast it came in. It was a lot," Parente told Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Friday.
Parente's comments came just one day after Sesame Street announced it was pulling a segment in which Perry sings her hit "Hot 'N Cold" with Elmo. The children's show received multiple complaints from viewers concerning Perry's revealing wardrobe after video of their duet surfaced online Monday.
"We have a great interactive relationship with our viewers. They trust Sesame Street, and we take that seriously," Parente said. "Parents' opinions are very important to us."
At the same time, Parente defended the show's decision to put Perry on the show, saying they had hoped to draw in younger parents who might be unfamiliar with Sesame Street. "Strictly for the educational benefit, it enhances education when you co-watch [with your kids]," she said.
Perry may still return to Sesame Street in the future, Parente said, while calling the pop star "a wonderful music talent."
Elmo agreed: "We'll have another [playdate]! Elmo loves Miss Katy," the puppet told Stephanopoulos.