Elmo Puppeteer Is Accused of Relationship with 16-Year-Old Boy: Is This the Death of Elmo?
News 2012/11/12 19:00:00
Big Bird’s job may be secure now that President Barack Obama has been reelected for a second term, but that doesn’t mean all is going smoothly on "Sesame Street." In fact, the show seems to have been hit with the biggest controversy in its 43-year history -- and the most popular monster on the block is at the center of it all. News broke Monday morning that Elmo’s puppeteer, 52-year-old Kevin Clash, has been accused of having sexual relations with a 16-year-old boy.
The very serious allegations surfaced in June, when the now 23-year-old accuser approached Clash’s bosses at the Sesame Workshop. He said that seven years prior, he and the man behind the Muppet had a relationship. An internal investigation was conducted, including a couple of meetings and an email exchange with the unidentified man and conversations with Clash. They concluded that the claims were unsubstantiated and that Clash only used “poor judgment and violated company policy regarding Internet usage.”
For his part, Clash has admitted to having a relationship with the man in question — but not until they were both “consenting adults.” Now, Clash appears to be hell bent to protect his very family-friendly reputation. He’s taken a leave of absence from "Sesame Street" and is said to be exploring his legal options. As for Elmo, the Sesame Workshop team insists that he will remain unharmed and a staple of their legendary show. But children’s television scandals have ruined careers before (we’re looking at you, Pee-wee Herman.) Do you think this is the death of Elmo?
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