No matter what you believe, I think it’s safe to say that this is another story where the public will never know the whole truth. Earlier today, Kevin Clash, the man who has been the voice and performer behind Elmo on SESAME STREET for over two decades, officially resigned. This comes following a tumultuous month that began with allegations of an inappropriate relationship with an underage boy – allegations later retracted, and now being disputed once more. Now a second person has stepped forward with accusations, and both Sesame Workshop and Kevin Clash have issued new statements.
Sesame Workshop Statement 11/20/12
“Sesame Workshop’s mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential. Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us wants, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street.”
Clash was recently the subject of the documentary, BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEERS JOURNEY, which I reviewed here on The Rock Father earlier this year.
As a parent, this news is disturbing on so many levels, but I always have to question when “accusers” surface after an extended period of time looking for a hefty payout. As my daughters and I watch SESAME STREET on a regular basis, I’m curious to see how someone new will step into the role of Elmo.