Kevin Clash Resigns From Sesame Street

Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who made Elmo one of the most beloved Sesame Street muppets, has resigned from the show amid a new allegation of sexual misconduct.  Although the first accuser recanted his story, this second accuser has filed a lawsuit seeking over $5 million dollars in damages.  The lawsuit filed in federal court alleges that Cecil Singleton, fifteen at the time, was coaxed by Clash in to meeting for sexual encounters.  .A statement from the Sesame Street Workshop said, “the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want.”  Clash for his part issued a statement saying, “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.”  In my first submission regarding Clash and the initial accuser, I strongly supported and believed the accusations to be frivolous.  However, it appears this second accuser won’t be recanting and will follow through with the suit.  It is the end of an era and a twenty-eight year run on Sesame Street for Clash who has already left the show.  But the end of Clash doesn’t mean the end of Elmo.  Last week the Sesame Workshop said, “Elmo is bigger than any one person.”  Other members of the cast have been trained as Elmo puppeteers in Clash’s absence, though it remains to be seen who will permanently replace him.  In his twenty-eight years on the show, Clash won twenty-three daytime Emmy Awards and one Prime time Emmy.  Even though it may not look good for Clash at this point, he is innocent until proven guilty.  And that presumption of innocence must be respected.

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