NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Batman and the Joker are usually on opposite sides of the law. On Wednesday, they made no exception.

The two voiced opposing views at a City Council hearing on a new proposal to regulate costumed characters in Times Square, which would require they be licensed and pass background checks, CBS2’s Diane Macedo reported.

“If you don’t have anything to hide, come on,” said Jose Martinez, who dresses up as Batman.

“This straight up seems like fascism to me,” said Keith Albahe, aka the Joker.

The bill, introduced by City Councilman Andy King, D-Bronx, follows the arrests of several characters over the past several months. In September, a woman dressed as Elmo was arrested on an aggressive panhandling charge. Days before, two men, one dressed as Batman and another dressed as Spider-Man, were arrested after a brawl with another man, police said.

Other recent incidents include a Spider-Man allegedly punching a cop, an Elmo being arrested for allegedly harassing people and yelling anti-Semitic slurs and a “Toy Story” Woody allegedly groping women.

Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said too often characters, seeking tips for posing for photos with tourists, get away with harassing and ganging up on people because of the anonymity their costumes provide.

“Quirky is fine, but creepy is not,” Tompkins said, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported. “We have repeated evidence of people being touched inappropriately, intimidated.”

The bill, Tompkins said, would create “a first filter to weed out people that have recent, violent or predatory criminal records.”

Albahe said he thinks the proposed law would violate his First Amendment rights.

“If somebody comes up to me, I should be able to, if they’re waving a camera in my face, request a tip,” he said.

He also took exception with the idea of being required to wear an ID tag.

“It will ruin the costume,” Albahe said.

Some voiced concerns over the $175 price tag for the license and other barriers.

“The expense could be brought down a little since we are there working for tips,” said Times Square Robin Elizabeth Holland.

One thing all the characters disagreed with was the part of the bill that would limit where in Times Square they could operate.

“I want to be free in Times Square. Free,” Martinez said.

Another concern raised was that the information obtained for the licenses could be used to deport undocumented immigrants. The city Department of Consumer Affairs, though, insisted the information would not be used for that purpose.

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