Kevin Clash should continue to be the voice of Elmo
Posted on Nov 20, 2012 in Opinion
One of the things toddlers, teenagers, and adults all recognize to be beloved are the characters of Sesame Street such as Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and the high-pitched Elmo. The voice and puppeteer behind Elmo, a fifty-two year old man named Kevin Clash, has had this role since he took over from Richard Hunt in 1985. While not the first person to voice the red Muppet, Clash is famous for giving Elmo his high-pitched toddler voice. While his target audience may not be aware he is the magic behind Elmo, Clash has fulfilled his role devotedly, and is most associated with, as seen by the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo,” which tells of Clash’s love for puppeteering.
However, Clash was recently accused of having a sexual relationship with a sixteen-year-old boy seven years ago. A twenty-three year old man said he had an underage, sexual relationship with Clash which has now drawn up an insurmountable of attention. Clash had admitted to a relationship with the man but denied that he was underage. The accuser withdrew his accusation the very next day, for reasons unknown, but the fuse had already been lit.
Clash issued a statement on the matter that this retracted accusation has now made it known to the world that he is gay. “I am a gay man. I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter,” Clash said. “I had a relationship with the accuser. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was. I am taking a break from Sesame Workshop to deal with this false and defamatory allegation” (The Clicker).
Sesame Workshop, which produces Sesame Street, did an investigation on the matter and it revealed that the relationship was between two consenting adults (Charter). Clash relieved that the accusation has been put to rest but wishes to discuss it no further. It is currently unknown when his leave of absence will cease.
The only question left for people to wonder is whether or not Kevin Clash will continue to work on the famous children’s show now that he has been revealed as a gay man. In my opinion, Clash should continue to do the work. His sexuality has nothing to do with the character that children know and love. In fact, most children won’t even know who Kevin Clash is. At such a young age, children don’t think about who’s controlling the puppets; they just want to enjoy the show. Kevin Clash has provided the most to the Elmo that I grew up with, and I hope he returns to voicing the beloved puppet soon.