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.
Source: New York Times