So, this is terrible, and is maybe the worst way to start your week, but Kevin Clash — who many of you probably fell in love with while watching the documentary Being Elmo: The Voice of a Puppeteer — is taking leave of “Sesame Street” after accusations have been leveled against him for having a relationship with a 16-year-old boy. What gives the allegations particular bite is that they come from the 16-year-old boy (who is now 23) and that Clash does not deny them, although he claims that the relationship did not begin until after the kid became an adult. Clash was 45 when he allegedly began the sexual relationship with the 16 year old.
Lawyers have gotten involved, and though Clash denies the allegations, he’s the one who asked for a leave of absence.
Either way, it’s a blow to the reputation of Elmo, who has been voiced by Clash since the beginning, if only because it’s squicky to know that the voice of Elmo was having sex with anyone, much less a 16-year-old boy. Hopefully, however, the allegations will prove merit-less.
Elmo will be voiced by someone else in the interim.