This was probably inevitable given all that has transpired over the last few weeks, but that doesn’t make it any less sad: According to the New York Times, Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo on Sesame Street, has resigned following the recanted, and now kind of un-recanted, allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old. Sesame Workshop released this statement earlier this morning:
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. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street.
I don’t know what to make of all this anymore. If the allegations — plural — are indeed all false money-grabbing schemes by gold-digging hucksters, then this is incredibly sad, as it ruined a beloved children’s icon and dragged an innocent man’s name through the mud in the worst possible way. If the allegations are true, even a little bit, well, that’s incredibly sad, too. There really isn’t any part of this than can be construed as a good thing.