Elmo Puppeteer Is Accused of Relationship with 16-Year-Old Boy: Is This the Death of Elmo?

News 2012/11/12 19:00:00
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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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Top Opinion

  • skyebrand 2012/11/12 22:23:08
    First of all, the allegations have already been found to be groundless. The police were not informed by the accuser, he only went to his ex-boyfriends employer, one can only assume this is revenge for the relationship ending.

    Second, even if the allegations had been proven (which they weren't) a new voice artist would be found. Frank Oz, the original voice artist of many of the original characters, died a while back & the characters are still going strong!

    Oh, & Clash should never have been forced to explain his personal life in public like this. I hope the unidentified accuser (who is protected under the law even though he is the one breaking the law) is charged with making false allegations, defamation & harassment!

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  • Bob P. Clarkson 2013/01/10 01:29:06
    Bob P. Clarkson
    Maybe, then again, maybe not.
    To all of those who believe the accuser is 16, that Frank Oz is dead, that the allegations have been proven false, RTFR!
    The accuser is a 23 year old who claims the sexual contact occurred when he Was 16.
    Frank Oz is not dead.
    The allegations have Not been proven false.

    What appears to be certain is that Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo, has taken a leave of absence - allegedly to explore his legal options.
    An "internal" examinations by Sesame Street employees concluded that the claims "couldn't be substantiated" by looking at the company's email cache. Unsubstantiated does not mean "Not Guilty".
    The Sesame Street folks DID say that Clash "used poor judgement", but refused to say about what. Maybe he used poor judgement in parking his car.
    The Sesame Street folks also said Clash had violated company email policy.

    None of this whole mess even has legal implications at this time because the complaint was not made to legal authorities, nor has Clash filed suit for anything.

    One thing that almost certainly has happened is that Kevin Clash's "family-friendly reputation" has changed with his admission of sexual contact with the young man when they were both "consenting adults".
  • Jabbo Jones 2012/11/26 21:08:14
    Jabbo Jones
    Probably not. Either he will return or they will get a similar voice to play the part. The Director of Sesame Street was just found dead...mysterious death. I just pray that this was not some huge underground child sex thing going on that was going to be exposed.
  • shakia locke 2012/11/24 07:41:23
    shakia locke
    yes the reason why i say that because when you are dealing with children people take that serious especially what they children watch but then at the same time no because he made Elmo one of the favorite puppet charters for children in history hell he even got teenagers and adults love him too.But one question i have an that is i wounder if Elmo do survive how the parents is going to let their babies be on TV or their kids knowing what he did to a child .
  • Margaret Jacobson 2012/11/19 07:06:50
    Margaret Jacobson
    Many men with money seem to be singled out for accusations ?? Michael Jackson , all those Roman Catholic priests, etc!!
  • Dave 007 2012/11/18 12:37:05
    Dave 007
    People will forget/forgive. Just like most have forgot/forgiven Kobe Bryant.
  • codie.paul 2012/11/17 18:05:28 (edited)
    I think that is just silly. And as sick and ridiculous as this is, people will still like Elmo. They just wont like the sick guy stickin his hand up his butt anymore and doing the voice.
  • bt sedlock 2012/11/17 17:11:34
    bt sedlock
    It's time to retire Elmo, IMHO he is the most annoying of the Sesame Street muppets and grossly overrated. SESAME STREET is no longer SESAME STREET, it's now the Elmo Show. Of course I haven't watched SESAME STREET in over 30 years.
  • bt sedlock bt sedlock 2012/11/17 17:23:44
    bt sedlock
    To skyebrand, Frank Oz didn't die. You're thinking of Jerry Nelson, the voice of the Count, Herrie Monster, Floyd on the MUPPET SHOW, Simon, the character who could do unlimited voices of things like elephants, monkeys, lions, horns, jackhammers, etc. Oz just doesn't do voice work on SESAME STREET anymore, only on specials.
  • Hugz Forall 2012/11/16 21:04:02
    Hugz Forall
    The puppet is an icon the man is just a voice. How many people do you suppose are out there that can sound like Elmo?
  • joeman 2012/11/15 22:54:00
    Sesame street should have the rights to use Elmo even if this guy isnt the puppeter anymore. Nothings been proven anyways, an if something did happen why'd he wait 6 yrs to say something. May be something to it if Clash admits a relationship with him. Fire Clash and move on
  • MS PRUD 2012/11/15 21:50:22
    The charge was found to be a LIE.
  • dog 2012/11/15 21:40:36
    I know there was somthing wrong with him
  • Erok 2012/11/15 08:14:43
    Sometimes you want to put your hand up a puppets' ass......
  • Brandi Elliott 2012/11/15 06:57:11
    Brandi Elliott
    I mean but y lie
  • VictorManX 2012/11/15 06:35:03
    probably just more lies from the so called victim, or family to milk the actor for a large sum of money...
  • Hamilton 2012/11/15 00:47:19
    I always did think the whole "tickle me elmo" thing was creepy, and now I know why.
  • Tennessee3501 2012/11/14 21:41:21
    Elmo will never die. Even Buggs Bunny lives after the death of Mel Blanc!

    The 16 year old has recanted. We may not even have to hear a permanent change in Elmo's voice!
  • Danielle Kennedy 2012/11/14 21:41:16
    Danielle Kennedy
    The death of him, maybe, not Elmo :)
  • kgavrailoff 2012/11/14 17:31:21
    I dont think he did it hes innocent
  • sandra 2012/11/14 17:27:13 (edited)
    I never liked Elmo, he`s not the cutest Muppet. Always thought his voice was so annoying.

    Yup! Elmo has been way too over rated over the years,

    Grover was cuter and funnier to me, sure his voice was annoying to , but not as annoying
    as Elmo.

    . http://t5ak.roblox.com/b99428... grover is cool

    cookie monster

    The Cookie Monster is sooo cute!
  • glen 2012/11/14 16:57:55
    Elmo isn't real ! He did nothing to the boy !
  • copperhead 2012/11/14 16:19:02
    Not to worry....Obama will subsidize an attorney (probably Holder) to figt his case....you know, birds of a feather flock together!!
  • sandra copperhead 2012/11/14 17:30:15 (edited)
    Obama isn`t a Muppet! lol, lol

    A Puppet maybe, but not a Muppet, lol, lol
    I just had to say that, lol
  • 184728295 sandra 2012/11/15 07:17:20
  • copperhead sandra 2012/11/18 02:29:52
    definitely a puppet! one wonders for who??
  • sandra copperhead 2012/11/22 15:00:54 (edited)
    Ya, probably the very rich and powerful.
    Isn`t it the extremely wealthy folks that control everybody and everything?, even the wars and economy,and making sure that the human population doesn`t get too big?
    I know they make sure the masses don`t become too large , we would be able to take over then. lol
    An excellent book if you have not already read it , (And The truth shall set you free, by David Icke)
    Later my friend...... the truth shall set you free
  • chico.h... sandra 2012/11/24 04:49:33
  • sandra chico.h... 2012/11/24 16:39:21
  • robinswebnest 2012/11/14 15:58:17
    Of course it isn't. Why? Because first off, lame stream media won't let that happen. Yep, I am going to say it...second, he is black, therefore obama and holder won't let that happen. And third, I don't see any proof, just an accusation.
    Lastly, if true, he should be fired. Not because he is gay, but because he had sex with and under age child.
  • CORNBREAD robinsw... 2012/11/15 15:39:37
    I do agree with the part about him being punished for having sex with a minor, but what does black have to do about it. Are we still that archaic that we haven’t come pass color being an excuse or an issue?
  • robinsw... CORNBREAD 2012/11/15 15:49:37
    Yes, just ask obama. Black matters to him and holder....I don't know where you have been for the last 4 years, but, it seems whites are racist all the time and blacks are never racist.....in addition, according to lame stream media, whites commit crimes against blacks....and never the other way around.
    So, in answer to your question, it is not archaic. pre obama, I would have said it was.
  • weenyboy 2012/11/14 15:41:04
    A LITTLE LATE here......... The "accussor" has already admitted that it was a lie! Folks (and the media) are sometimes too quick to rush to judgement! This is why Joe Paterno possibly did NOT go public with baseless (at the time) accusations. IF false, it could destroy a carreer. As a retired teacher.... if I didn't SEE IT, it simply didn't happen!
  • Jim 2012/11/14 15:30:46
    Just the man whose hand was inside ELMO.
  • CWOO10 - PWCM 2012/11/14 14:50:38
    CWOO10 - PWCM
    The puppet will survive even if the man behind the puppet does not.
  • chico.h... CWOO10 ... 2012/11/24 04:50:28
    thats right i can sound just identical to elmos voice''
  • miss 2012/11/14 11:39:07
    They'll just get someone else to play Elmo
  • sandra miss 2012/11/14 17:40:12
    I hope so, I can`t stand Elmo`s voice or his annoying as hell personality.
    "'Elmo says this, Elmo says that,,,,,,," Elmo is gonna do this, ,,,,Elmo ,,,Elmo boring Elmo.....

    It bugs me that the guy makes Elmo constantly refer to itself as a third person, and how the guy makes it say "Elmo" so much practically every third word the muppet says is it`s name.
    Sorry I just need to vent about one of my long time running pet peeves, I just had to jump at this opportunity. thanks.
  • Daniell... sandra 2012/11/14 21:46:21
    Danielle Kennedy
    Danielle agrees xD
  • sandra Daniell... 2012/11/15 15:31:59
    Thanks Danielle, great minds think alike
  • miss sandra 2012/11/16 22:24:38
    I get it

    P.S I love Elmo
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