The voice of Elmo, Kevin Clash, resigned today amid new allegations of sexual misconduct with underages boys, “Sesame Street” producers announced.
“Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us wants, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from `Sesame Street,’ “ according a statement by Sesame Workshop, the education nonprofit that produces the venerable children’s show.
“This is a sad day for `Sesame Street.’ ”
Sesame Workshop thanked Clash, who has been the voice of Elmo since 1984, for all his years of service.
“Sesame Workshop’s mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential,” according to Sesame Workshop.
“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. “
Clash’s sudden downfall came hours after published reports emerged that a man in his mid-30s filed a lawsuit against Clash, accusing the beloved puppeteer of having underaged sex with him when he was just 15.
The federal civil complaint, filed in New York by Cecil Singleton, alleged that Clash — now 52 — picked him up in 1993 on a gay phone chat line.