The fuzzy red monster appeared with the rest of the Sesame Street cast to sing “What I Am.” The song was appropriate in the wake of the allegations surrounding Kevin Clash, the longtime voice actor behind Elmo. The lyrics spoke of not being deterred by obstacles in life.
“I’m gonna keep my head up high / keep on reaching high / Never gonna quit / Just keep getting stronger,” sang the muppets. Elmo, who was voiced by Clash via a pre-recorded track at the parade, had a solo line.
“Nothing’s gonna bring us down,” sang Elmo. According to Ace Showbiz, the initial plan was to have another actor voice Elmo and it is unclear why Sesame Street used a track instead. “Current events have no bearing on Sesame’s participation in the Parade and we are confident their world-renowned, family-friendly entertainment and educational programming will continue to bring kids and families joy for decades,” said Sesame Street in a statement.
Perhaps these words can help Clash as he deals with the controversy surrounding his personal life. Clash resigned from Sesame Street after being hit with another accusation of sex with an underage teenage boy. Cecil Singleton, the latest accuser is suing Clash for $5 million. According to Singleton, Clash tried to hide his real identity from him during their relationship. “It was essential to him that I not find out who he actually was,” Singleton told TMZ.
In addition, his first accuser has decided to stick by his original accusations after initially recanting and accepting a settlement. According to the New York Post, Singleton’s lawyer says he has had two more young men approach him with similar claims against Clash.
Thankfully, the show will not be affected by the resignation for at least two years since Clash has taped all of Elmo’s Sesame Street episodes through 2014.