Update: The man who accused Kevin Clash of an inappropriate sexual relationship when he was sixteen, has recanted his story. The Pennsylvania law firm, Andreozzi & Associates, who represents him, issued this statement, “This office represented the 23-year-old man who was the subject of many media reports regarding Kevin Clash. He wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship. He will have no further comment on the matter.” That’s why we never should rush to judgement and why I wrote this morning that he is innocent until proven guilty. Shame on the NY Post, for this morning’s headline “Nookie Monster”. An immediate apology should be issued but I wouldn’t count on it. Back to work Elmo.
Kevin Clash, the puppeteer and voice behind the lovable muppet, Elmo, has been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old. The accuser, now twenty-three, approached Sesame Street representatives and told them of his affair with Clash. After meeting with the young man and interviewing Clash, who denied the allegations, the network reached the conclusion that the underage affair was “unsubstantiated”. Clash was disciplined for “exercising poor judgement and violating the company’s internet usage policy”. Although he has not denied the relationship with the accuser, he denies the boy was sixteen at the time they were together. Clash has taken a leave of absence from the show in order to answer these allegations. In a statement to NBC news he said, “I had a relationship with the accuser. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was. I am taking a break from Sesame Workshop to deal with this false and defamatory allegation.” The real tragedy here is Sesame Street is viewed throughout the world and one of the few wholesome, educational shows left on television. One would hope the show is not negatively impacted by these allegations. Two crucial points need to be made, 1) Clash is innocent until proven guilty and if these charges go unsubstantiated, this story needs to be put to bed. 2) The fact he’s gay has no relevance in this case. There are those who will attempt to use this to further negative stereotypes about gay men and that’s simply wrong. Hang in there Elmo!