The allegations leveled against Kevin Clash — the voice of Sesame Street’s Elmo for the last 28 years — concerning his relationship with an underage male has been on a lot of people’s minds lately.
The unnamed 23-year-old accuser has since recanted his story, however, Clash is still currently taking a leave of absence from the children’s show and some feel that irrevocable damage has been done to his reputation.
Now that the allegations have been withdrawn, one has to wonder what is next for Mr. Clash and Elmo. Will Elmo or Clash be seen as fallen heroes?
“Parents are going to be very leery of having a man who has been accused of inappropriate sexual contact with an underage person around their child,” states Dr. Rosalyn Pitts, a psychologist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Pitts may be right. Some parents told theGrio that, despite the recant, they have already made up their minds about Clash.
“This is Sandusky [part] two,“ said one parent, who wished to have their name withheld.
Despite the facts of the case, Pitts puts forth a possible explanation as to why Clash might have a hard time going back to business as usual.
“When parents are bringing their kids around Elmo, they are thinking purity at best. They don’t want in the back of their minds that this individual has been brought up on allegations of having inappropriate sexual contact with a minor,” she explains.
Other parents have taken a more cautioned approach.
“Our daughter loves Elmo. Since we don’t know all of the details and she isn’t old enough to notice his absence, I don’t think there is much to say [to her],” explains Natasha Blakeney of University Park, Maryland, mom to a 2-year-old daughter.
“If Clash, or anyone, has never had any illegal activities involving children and has always shown good judgment in that regard, then I have no issues with him working with children,” says Glen Lowe of Greensboro, North Carolina, father of a 6-year-old son.
When asked if Lowe thought Elmo had become a fallen figure, he promptly responded “no,” and added his own take on the matter.