It has just been announced that Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind the most popular Sesame Street character Elmo, has just resigned.
For 27 years Clash was the voice of the beloved character Elmo, but after just one day of being accused of having sex with a 16 year-old man, the Elmo’s characters voice is no more. Sesame Street producers issued this statement today via their blog:
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.
Earlier this month, a man accused Clash of having a sexual relationship with him when he was 16. That same man took back his story the very next day. After that, he went back and recanted his recant and because of that, the damage has been done. It’s apparent that Clash couldn’t shake the distraction that the scandal caused, because he came to an agreement to leave the show.