Elmo Puppeteer Kevin Clash Resigns From 'Sesame Street' Amid New AllegationsMike Sampson |
Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind Elmo, has permanently resigned from 'Sesame Street' following a sex scandal that was made public two weeks ago and, in the midst of new allegations, refuses to go away.
Clash was accused of having sex with an underage boy and the performer took a leave of absence from 'Sesame Street' as he worked out the legal issues. While his accuser would later recant the original accusations, he would later claim he felt forced into recanting and stood by his original accusations. Earlier today, another male - now in his 30s - came forward to say he too had entered into a sexual relationship with Clash while he was underage.
In the end, it was all too much for both Clash and Sesame Street who issued this statement on Tuesday morning:
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 want, 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.
We all breathed a sigh of relief when it appeared Clash was innocent and wondered what the tabloid sensationalizing of his story (see the New York Post headline "Nookie Monster") would do to his career. It turns out, even if he is still innocent and the two accusers are just bilking the performer for cash, this scandal has done irreparable harm to Clash's career and hurt the Sesame Street brand. And for that reason, he had to go.