Elmo Voice Accused of Abuse

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In what’s undoubtedly one of the most disturbing news stories of the year, the actor and puppeteer who voices Elmo has taken a leave of absence after allegations of child abuse.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Kevin Clash was accused of initiating a sexual relationship with a boy who at the time was 16. Clash has denied the allegations and Sesame Workshop has stood by him.

Sesame Workshop issued a statement Monday:


In June of this year, Sesame Workshop received a communication from a then 23 year old man who alleged that he had a relationship beginning when he was 16 years old with Kevin Clash, a Sesame Workshop puppeteer who performs as Elmo.

We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action. We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with him. We met with Kevin, who denied the accusation. We also conducted a thorough investigation and found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated. Although this was a personal relationship unrelated to the workplace, our investigation did reveal that Kevin exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding internet usage and he was disciplined.

The 52-year-old Clash has voiced and performed as Elmo since the mid 1980s. He was the subject of a well-received 2011 documentary, “Being Elmo.”


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