Actor Kevin Clash has resigned from Sesame Street following allegations of another sexual scandal surfaced. Clash, a puppeteer and the voice of Sesame Street’s Elmo, for the majority of the last 30 years resigned on Tuesday amidst new allegations of sexual relationship with a boy who was a teenager.
The new allegations were equally a blow for the puppeteer, whose name had not been known by the majority of Americans until the first scandal broke, as it was for Sesame Street, the children’s program beloved by millions that recently has been rocked politically and now due to these scandals.
The departure of Clash came following a lawsuit that was filed in New York on Tuesday that accused him of have a sexual relationship with a boy who was 15. Cecil Singleton, the plaintiff, now 24 and a student in college is seeking over $5 million in damages. In his lawsuit, Singleton alleges that Clash met him on a chat line for gays and the two later rendezvoused for sex. Clash was unavailable for comment.
The Sesame Workshop, the organization behind the award winning show, released a statement that said no one, especially Kevin, wants any attention diverted from the focus of the show, which is to serve as a leading educational organization. The statement continued by saying unfortunately Kevin’s personal life has brought controversy and distraction that has made it impossible for him to be effective in his work and therefore he decided to resign.
Sesame has been able to endure cast changes and cultural skirmishes, but the scandal involving Clash presented a challenge that was unprecedented to the highly respected and lucrative global brand of Sesame Street, which has over 1.2 million viewers daily in the U.S. and millions more across the globe.