Kevin Clash, better known as the voice of Elmo, has resigned from Sesame Workshop in what has been called “a sad day for Sesame Street.”
Kevin Clash has voiced Elmo for nearly 30 years, mostly staying behind the scenes until an aspiring model in his young 20s, Sheldon Stephens, came forward to report that he had been involved with Clash in a relationship that began while Stephens was still a minor.
Clash admitted that he is “openly gay,” but denied involvement with Stephens in anything but a mutually consensual adult sexual relationship. Stephens recanted his allegation, but the calm only lasted a few days.
Soon, Stephens hit back against Elmo and Clash, claiming he’d been paid off to recant his claim. And from there, he said he was working to return the money and restore his credibility, sticking to his story that he’d begun a relationship with Kevin Clash when he was just 16.
Today, the scandal involving Elmo, Kevin Clash, and alleged inappropriate relations with minors came to an abrupt, sad and stunning end — especially for young fans of the furry red monster and his presence on Sesame Street.
The New York Times carried a statement from Sesame Workshop, indicating that regardless of what is true in the scandal, Clash has retired from his position as the voice of Elmo.
The statement reads:
“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.”
Do you think Kevin Clash should have resigned as Elmo on Sesame Street due to the allegations?