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Elmo Puppeteer Resigns, Kevin Clash Addresses Sesame Street Departure

elmo kevin clash resigns

Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has resigned from Sesame Street, as we reported earlier, as a second accuser has stepped forward to claim an inappropriate relationship with Clash, filing a suit demanding $5 million from the man who voices Elmo.

Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash first became the subject of sex allegations last week when an aspiring male model stepped forward to say that he and Clash had been engaged in an inappropriate relationship that began when the young man, Sheldon Stephens, was 16.

Stephens later recanted his claims against Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash but then went back on his recantation. Stephens told the media Clash had paid him a six-figure sum to keep quiet and soon said he planned to return the money so he could tell his story.

This morning, Sesame Workshop announced that Clash was leaving Sesame Street for good after nearly three decades in what they described as a “sad day for Sesame Street.” The news sent shockwaves across the blogosphere, particularly amid parents of small children who are devoted to Clash’s furry red monster and his world.

Now Clash has spoken as well, releasing a statement of his own about the painful decision to leave Sesame Street. In it, Clash says:

“I am resigning from Sesame Workshop with a very heavy heart. I have loved every day of my 28 years working for this exceptional organization. Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately.”

The Elmo puppeteer’s resignation comes just as parents head into the pre-Christmas shopping season, and the Times notes the scandal could impact the brand’s sales.

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Comments

26 Responses to “Elmo Puppeteer Resigns, Kevin Clash Addresses Sesame Street Departure”

  1. Heather Johnson

    Kevin Clash is NOT Elmo. This controversy will not affect whether or not I buy Elmo or Sesame Street products for my child.

  2. Rhonda Warren Kimmel

    It is a sad day…but little kids don't know that Elmo is not real. They will continue to be faithful to Elmo. I hope this Stephens guy is proud of himself! He is after his 10 minutes of fame and money!

  3. Kimberly DeBusk

    My grandchildren love Elmo it won't affect me buying their products. Isn't this a sad worldwe live in?

  4. April Renee

    Too many kids love Elmo. With all the digitalization today his voice doesn't have to change it can be altered to be the same. Hopefully all matters will be handled and Elmo will live on!

  5. Alex Serpa

    This is much like when Jim Henson died, sure they got someone new to sound like Kermit, but the personality that brought him to life just wasn't there or the same. RIP, Elmo.

  6. Tiffany Sweat

    I won't stop buying Elmo toys because of this. He is NOT Elmo he only leads hint his voice.

  7. Kristeen Charles

    I'm so sorry he had to resign. I don't think he had a choice anyway. I hope Dorothy will still be around. I can only imagine what Mr Clash is going through now. That's really sad:(

  8. Toni Waldron Batson

    I feel like there is nothing sacred anymore. Everything is about money not morals. My son grew up with Elmo and learned a lot from Sesame Street. I would never want to have that tainted. Not all the facts are known I'm not making any judements. If Kevin Clash did something unlawful then he should be held accountable. If the accuser is lying it will surface. Regardless it would not change that "Elmo" makes millions of children happy.

  9. Mily Santi

    Now is this Stephen man comes out since he was16? How old is he now? Why did he wait? I feel for the children as my own who love Elmo and have grown up with him and learning along with him. I dislike to believe this is happening and hope Elmo stays alive.

  10. Mily Santi

    It's sad that it always comes down to "all about the money". We loose another great puppet. Love u Elmo

  11. Lisa Relyea

    It may be true, it may not. My guess is this got to be too much for Sesame St. I would be EXTREMELY surprised to find that Mr.Stevens returns the money he claimed he received. If he were a true victim, he would have taken him to court in the first place as would anyone who suffered abuse. If the six figured deal actually occurred, it must have run out and he tried to get more. Enough is enough and Mr. Stevens should now have to prove his charges.

  12. Lisa Relyea

    It may be true, it may not. My guess is this got to be too much for Sesame St. I would be EXTREMELY surprised to find that Mr.Stephens returns the money he claimed he received. If he were a true victim, he would have taken Mr. Clash to court first, as would anyone who actually suffered abuse. If the six figure deal actually occurred, it must have run out and he tried to get more. Enough is enough and Mr. Stevens should now have to prove his charges.
    A new puppeteer can be found. If the voice is slightly different they can say he's got a cold (which he won't recover from sssh) and kids will get used to it.