Can we please actually be having a nightmare and once we wake up and hit the alarm discover this story never existed? Because even if it proves to be false, we feel permanently traumatized. Kevin Clash, the man behind Elmo, is currently taking a leave of absence from Sesame Street to “protect his reputation” after being accused of having sex with a 16-year-old boy years ago. According to TMZ, Clash admits to having a relationship with the man, now 23, but insists that it began after the accuser was of age.
“It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not,” he told the site.
The Sesame Workshop says that lawyers conducted an investigation and believe Clash’s side of the story. But the accuser say the show is trying to silence him to protect the Elmo brand.
Oh my god, the Elmo brand, and the childhoods of millions. And could this have come out at a worse time of year, right before parents decide whether to buy the latest Elmo doll?
But regardless of what happens, Sesame is adamant that it won’t affect the Muppet himself. “Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of Sesame Street to engage, educate and inspire children around the world.”
Please, please, please let Clash’s side be true, if only so we don’t have to shudder every time we hear him say, “That tickles the most!”
[Photo: Getty Images]