Can Sesame Street’s Elmo Survive Ex-Puppeteer’s Sex Scandal?





The phrase "Tickle me Elmo" has taken on an entirely different and unsavory meaning. The New York Post is reporting a third man has come forth alleging former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash had a sexual relationship with him, while the man was still a minor. The Post also published excerpts from the anonymous alleged victim's memoir. Wrote Clash's accuser:
 

“When we first met I was 16 and there was no intercourse; however lots of heavy kissing and he showed me what it felt like to get on your knees and obey your man.”

"Mr Tickler is what I will call him and the game we played was father and son."
 


Clash, who is vehemently denying all claims of sexual abuse of minors, has resigned from Sesame Street. However, there's been plenty of speculation about the multi-million dollar Elmo brand's ability to survive such an unseemly sex scandal.

According to TimeToPlayMag.com, Elmo merchandise accounts for 50-to-75 percent of the roughly $500 million in annual retail sales for Sesame Street games, videos and apparel items. The question is, can TPTB at Sesame Street manage to successfully separate the Elmo character from a former portrayer caught up in allegations of pedophilia, or is it time to ditch Elmo and focuse on a new kid-friendly mascot? 

Photo credit: Sesame Street

8 Responses

  1. Profile photo of hey mon
    hey mon

    It’s too bad that when someone files a lawsuit, that some of the details cannot remain private. This cold be completely un-true, but Mr Clash will have to live with it for the rest of his life.

  2. Profile photo of angrierblackerman
    angrierblackerman

    Elmo can survive…it’s a strong, lucrative brand for PBS. I think most parents can do a good job at keeping the puppet separate from the controversy.

    There are bound to be more victims/accusers, and this will get uglier before its over. But no way will PBS and other corporations let such a $$$ opportunity go to waste.

  3. Profile photo of thecourt99
    thecourt99

    Elmo can survive. I don’t know how many kids know the face behind Elmo. The only reason why people know who Kevin Clash is, is because of the historical implications.

    So the only impact is that Elmo will get a new voice. Elmo had a different voice before. Now, Sesame Street will likely have to put some time and space so that people can get used to the new voice and personality. There will likely be a change there.

  4. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    When Jim Henson died, there was no problem transitioning to new voices for Kermit, Ernie, Ralph and his other characters (even though the difference was remarkable). I know a dozen people who can do Elmo’s voice (hell, I can do it when my whiteys are tighty enough), so I don’t think it will be a problem.

    Hopefully, parents can keep their younger children away from the sordid details of Clash’s lawsuits. Frankly, if they are hearing the story, parents should probably re-think what they let their children watch. ;-)

  5. Profile photo of Greeneb2
    Greeneb2

    [quote=Divatude58]Why man…why would you diddle the teens? Dumb move.

    Elmo will definitely survive. I am sure they will put alot of effort into introducing the new voice of Elmo.[/quote]

    Shame On You, Kevin Clash, If These Accusations Are Indeed True–Sigh!

    Brian :Sp

  6. Profile photo of Greeneb2
    Greeneb2

    [quote=Divatude58]Why man…why would you diddle the teens? Dumb move.

    Elmo will definitely survive. I am sure they will put alot of effort into introducing the new voice of Elmo.[/quote]

    Shame On You, Kevin Clash, If These Accusations Are Indeed True–Sigh!

    Brian :Sp :O

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