11:42 am - 11/20/2012

Kevin Clash, Elmo Puppeteer, Resigns

Kevin Clash, the longtime voice and puppeteer behind Sesame Street’s Elmo character, has resigned in the aftermath of allegations — which Sesame Workshop had previously said were unfounded — that he had an underage sexual relationship.

In a statement released Tuesday, Sesame Workshop said:

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.
Mr. Clash has played Elmo on “Sesame Street” for decades. He was profiled in a documentary last year, “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey.”

The sexual accusations were made public last Monday, then later recanted by a 24-year-old man who has remained anonymous. The episode led to Mr. Clash coming out as a gay man, something he had not previously discussed in public. “I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter,” he said in the statement last week.

Production of “Sesame Street” was unaffected by Mr. Clash’s leave of absence and presumably will not be affected by his resignation, either. Mr. Clash had been helping to identify other puppeteers who could play Elmo for some time, and they filled in for him while he was away from work, a Sesame Workshop executive said last week.

I'm disgusted by all of this, tbh. Your thoughts?

Source: NYTimes
angi_is_altered 20th-Nov-2012 05:04 pm (UTC)
I wonder if they will have a new person voice Elmo or get rid of him all together.
musicpsych 20th-Nov-2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
That's a good question. I know they talked about voice replacements, but he's pretty well identified with Elmo. I was wondering if this would affect sales of Elmo toys this year. I assume they'll keep Elmo around for now, since he's still really popular, but see how it goes.
celtic_thistle 20th-Nov-2012 05:39 pm (UTC)
omg they'll never get rid of Elmo. He makes so much $$ in toys etc.
ohkkrista 20th-Nov-2012 05:45 pm (UTC)
They already said Elmo is more than one man. RME.
juel1979 20th-Nov-2012 06:59 pm (UTC)
I wonder if the currently voiced stuff will become some sort of collector's thing.
lack_ofcolour 20th-Nov-2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
Definitely a new person will voice him. Elmo is a cash cow, and after Henson passed, they had new voices for all of his characters. This is a little different since the voice actor has had his reputation tarnished, but I really think Children's Workshop will be able to move on since the Muppet isn't completely synonymous with Clash.
mjspice 21st-Nov-2012 09:33 am (UTC)
I don't Elmo is gonna go away so probably another voice actor. :S
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