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Diatribe: Tickle Me, Elmo, Indeed.

11/13/2012

This story gives new meaning to the term “role play”.

Sesame Street’s little red dynamo, Elmo, is in the news today.  Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo, has been accused of statutory rape as a result of a sexual relationship seven years ago by a now 23-year-old man.

“In June of this year, Sesame Workshop received a communication from a young man who alleged that he had a relationship with Kevin Clash beginning when he was 16-years-old. This was a personal relationship, unrelated to the workplace. We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action.  Kevin insists that these allegations are false and defamatory and he has taken actions to protect his reputation. We have granted him a leave of absence to do so.  Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of Sesame Street to engage, educate and inspire children around the world.” – Sesame Workshop

The Emmy-winning puppeteer has acknowledged a consensual relationship with the accuser but that the allegation of underage conduct is false and defamatory so he is expected to take actions to protect his reputation.

“It was between two consenting adults, and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not.” – Kevin Clash

Apparently, the accuser produced emails allegedly sent by Clash in which he admits that he knew the young man was underage but the emails are said to be falsified forgeries of some kind.  A preliminary investigation by Sesame Workshop is said to have revealed that Clash did use his company email account to write to his accuser on more than one occasion but that there was no mention of anything sexual or illegal in those communications.

There is no word on how long the puppetmaster’s leave of absence might last but Sesame Workshop insists that the scandal has nothing to do with their furry red star.  I, for one, will never see the character in quite the same way.

Tickle me, Elmo, indeed.

UPDATE 11/13/12 – Unidentified man now says he was an adult at the time of the relationship.

UPDATE 11/15/12 – Kevin Clash’s accuser identified.

UPDATE 11/18/12 – Sheldon Stephens may have been coerced into settling for $125k to recant allegations against Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo.

UPDATE 11/19/12 – Voice of Elmo accuser changes his mind and wants to undo settlement.

UPDATE 11/20/12 – Kevin Clash resigns.

UPDATE 11/27/12 – Third Accuser Surfaces.

UPDATE 12/10/12 – Fourth Accuser Surfaces.

UPDATE 04/02/13 – Fifth Accuser Surfaces!

UPDATE 05/01/13 – Kevin Clash receives a Daytime Emmy nomination.

UPDATE 07/01/13 – Judge tosses 3 lawsuits against Kevin Clash.

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18 Comments
  1. Oh, I hope this didn’t happen, that he can clear his name.

  2. wcdameron permalink

    At least this story gave us a little bit of a break from the Patraeus affair…

  3. Jim Henson is spinning in his grave right about now.

  4. Will Hensley permalink

    I think this is just a copycat tattling akin to the university coach event. It’s sad that people choose to accept that their 15 min. of fame has to be in such a negative light. It seems to me that it is a petty attempt to publicly embarrass Clash, most likely due to a personal disagreement. What an immature approach to handling your problems.

  5. Why do people feel it necessary to have their 15 minutes of fame in such a negative fashion? I guess it’s more expected now in the days of reality TV where the more outrageous items get the most notice. This seems to have brought out a lot more crazies these days!

    • Will Hensley permalink

      I agree!!! Lets ban reality tv! It’s ruining our children!!

  6. I have to say that I was disappointed to read of this latest “scandal”. One less childhood fantasy down.

  7. It’s a Republican plot to bring down Sesame Street as payback for Big Bird killing Romney’s run for president.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Don’t Tickle Me Elmo! | funnysideupandscrambled
  2. Diatribe: Top Diatribes And Other Scandals Of 2012. « DiatribesAndOvations

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