ONTD

4:05 pm - 11/12/2012

What the Hell is Going on???

Voice of Elmo on leave after denying 'underage conduct' with teen

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The puppeteer who provides the voice of Elmo is on a leave of absence from Sesame Street after denying he had an inappropriate relationship with a teenage boy.

Sesame Street Workshop says it found the allegation against Kevin Clash "unsubstantiated," and granted him leave as he takes "actions to protect his reputation."

In June, the workshop heard from a 23-year-old man who claimed that he had "a relationship" with Clash beginning when he was 16 years old, the workshop said in a written statement.

The statement did not use the word "sexual."

"We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action. We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with him. We met with Kevin, who denied the accusation. We also conducted a thorough investigation and found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated. Although this was a personal relationship unrelated to the workplace, our investigation did reveal that Kevin exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding internet usage and he was disciplined," the Sesame Street Workshop statement said.

"Kevin insists that the allegation of underage conduct is false and defamatory and he is taking actions to protect his reputation. We have granted him a leave of absence to do so.

"Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of Sesame Street to engage, educate and inspire children around the world, as it has for 40 years."

CNN could not reach Clash immediately for a response.  TMZ reported that Clash said his relationship with the accuser "was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not."

Last year, Clash spoke to CNN about the magic of Elmo, a "mirror image" for kids

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/12/voice-of-elmo-on-leave-after-denying-relationship-with-teen/.

I hope this isn't true because I am sick of hearing all these stories of people in positions of trust abusing the innocent?

littlepunkryo 12th-Nov-2012 04:43 pm (UTC)
I really, really hope this isn't true as well. Regardless, I bet he's done as Elmo - underage sex accusations surrounding a guy who works around kids? Yeah, they aren't keeping him around even if he didn't do it. Especially if it's an underage boy.
pixiegerms 12th-Nov-2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
this makes me sad :(
fred2265 12th-Nov-2012 04:59 pm (UTC)
mte.
effervescent 12th-Nov-2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
I watched a biography about him recently on Netflix and I really admired him, learning how he started off always wanting to be a puppeteer like Henson, and basically made his own dreams come true. More than he ever thought, since kids especially adore Elmo.

If this is true it just taints the whole thing. :/ I think you're right about him playing Elmo - the puppeteers do a lot of travelling and events where kids get to 'talk' to the characters. Parents aren't going to be comfortable with that.
ohkkrista 12th-Nov-2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
Are you talking about Being Elmo? Seriously a great film.
coconutoil 12th-Nov-2012 07:22 pm (UTC)
so disappointing
efaulkner 12th-Nov-2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
yeah i really hope this isn't true :/
smirk_dog 13th-Nov-2012 02:51 am (UTC)
Being Elmo was fantastic. This is real disappointment, and if it is true, a little frightening.
mjspice 13th-Nov-2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
This really.
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