The future of Sesame Street Muppet Elmo just became more uncertain. Kevin Clash, the sock puppet’s voiceover, has confirmed on Tuesday that his leave of absence from the show amid allegations of sex with a minor has been made permanent.
Sesame Workshop issued a statement noting that “the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want” leading Clash to conclude “that he can no longer be effective in his job.”
But according to Tim Graham of Newsbusters, there’s more to it than that. Graham writes (citing AP’s Frazier Moore as his source) that “a lawsuit was being filed in federal court in New York charging Clash with sexual abuse of a second youth. The lawsuit alleges that Cecil Singleton, then 15 and now an adult, was persuaded by Clash to meet for sexual encounters. The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $5 million.”
Sesame Workshop had earlier maintained that Clash’s hiatus would have no impact on the continuation of the Elmo character, but the more recent statement makes no mention of the popular Muppet, noting only that is was a “sad day for Sesame Street,” adding:
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.
Considering the show’s liberal leanings and the propensity among progressives for teaching the birds and the bees sooner than later, one might have almost expected an episode dealing with the scandal: “Today, Sesame Street is brought to you by the letter P, for pedophilia.”
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