Being Elmo rightfully won raves for its surprisingly entertaining portrayal of Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who fists Elmo. Clash was one of those obnoxious people who knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life by the time he could put on pants, and used his passion for puppeteering as a ticket out of poverty. And now he’s taken a leave of absence from Sesame Street amid allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy, you know, that old story.
The accusations were made in June by a 23-year-old man who claimed to have had a sexual relationship with Clash when he was 16. In a statement issued Monday, Sesame Workshop said an investigation into the matter “found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated” and that Clash was granted a leave of absence as he’s “taking actions to protect his reputation.” [HollywoodReporter]
Sesame Workshop lawyers recently met with a 23-year-old man who claims he and Clash began a sexual relationship 7 years ago … when he was 16 and Clash was 45.
Clash has acknowledged to TMZ he had a relationship with the young man — but insists it only took place AFTER the accuser was an adult.
Clash further denied his accuser’s allegations to TMZ, saying: “I had a relationship with [the accuser]. It was between two consenting adults, and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not.” [TMZ]
Well I’m no publicist, but if you really want to protect your reputation, maybe keep working and don’t make it look like you’ve resigned in disgrace, no? This is going to be a field day for the right-wing media, who were already calling The Muppets and liberal plot. Now there’s a gay child molester on Sesame Street? Yeesh, have fun with all of that.
Also, remember when Jerry Seinfeld was dating a 17-year-old? I don’t remember him resigning, I mean what. is. the deal. Anyway, 16 is the age of consent in most states. At that age, I have to think you’re able to decide if you want to have sex or not. When I was 16, my decision was a resounding yes, I just couldn’t find anyone else who agreed with me. Except my neighbor’s dog, Freckles, but I bribed him with peanut butter.