Last week, Kevin Clash took a break from sesame street to deal with an allegation that he illegally had sex with a sixteen-year-old boy a few years ago. A settlement was eventually negotiated, clearing the way for puppeteer Elmo to return to work. Unfortunately, Clash was hit with a new allegation from another accuser yesterday, and rather than turn sesame street in a mess of controversy, he officially decided to step down from the show effective immediately.
You can read the actor’s official statement in full below, according to The New York Times…
sesame street remained in production for the past few days with replacements handling Clash’s vocal duties as Elmo. The beloved character will continue to be on the show going forward, and the filming schedule is not expected to be altered by the upsetting allegations or resignation in any way. No decision has been made on when a permanent successor for Clash will be announced, but there are said to be several candidates who can handle the voice.
Over the past week, it’s been tempting for many to make child molestation jokes about Elmo or reference President Obama’s vocal support for PBS. The fact is sesame street has been providing wonderful children’s entertainment for over four decades. Neither the series nor the character are responsible for what Clash may or may not have done, and if we destroy sesame street angry, if we stop buying Elmo toys and turn on his friends too, we will be doing future generations of children a huge disservice.
TV Blend’s thoughts are with everyone unfairly affected by this whole situation.