Stop Tickling Me!

I can’t say I’m surprised — not because of the individual who plays Elmo, but because it’s the way of mankind to ruin innocence.

The puppeteer who performs as Elmo on “Sesame Street” is taking a leave of absence from the popular kids’ show in the wake of allegations that he had a relationship with a 16-year-old boy.

Sesame Workshop said puppeteer Kevin Clash denies the charges, which were first made in June by the alleged partner, who by then was 23.

“We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action,” Sesame Workshop said in a statement issued Monday. “We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with him. We met with Kevin, who denied the accusation.”

The organization said its investigation found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated. But it said Clash exercised “poor judgment” and was disciplined for violating company policy regarding Internet usage. It offered no details.

“I had a relationship with (the accuser),” Clash told TMZ. “It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not.”

At his request, Clash has been granted a leave of absence in order to “protect his reputation,” Sesame Workshop said.

No further explanation was provided, nor was the duration of his leave specified.

I’ll grant him the benefit of the doubt that nothing illegal happened, but even in the best case scenario… why would a then 45 year old man have a consensual relationship with an 18-year old? I know why of course — the same reason 45 year old men make asses of themselves with 18 year old girls/women. As I tell my students in Criminal Law class… fish in waters where the fish won’t get you in trouble. In today’s environment, the risk is too great — so much that it becomes perversely dangerous to skirt the age line when it comes to sexual behavior. Time will tell if the man has photos, videos, or e-mails/texts, etc. to back up his claim or if there is a prior blackmail attempt (which doesn’t seem to be the case given the leave of absence).

My kids are way past Elmo age so luckily I don’t have to explain why Elmo dates boys.

19 comments to Stop Tickling Me!

  • Scott M.

    Beat you by 25 minutes,Floyd!

  • Daniel Crandall

    I wonder if this will generate an HBO mockumentary documentary about the culture at PBS that allows for such a thing to happen, then lets the perp off with what is effectively a paid vacation until the hubbub subsides … BWA HA HA!! .. BWA HA HA HA!! … I crack myself up.. like Elmo … uh, on the other hand – NOT LIKE ELMO! 😛

  • goozer

    “(…) why would a then 45 year old man have a consensual relationship with an 18-year old? I know why of course — the same reason 45 year old men make asses of themselves with 18 year old girls/women.

    Wait – so it’s a bad thing that my brothers’ new MIL is trying to set me up with a young Thai bride from her old village? 😯

    • Texacalirose

      Buy American first (unless it’s true love, of course). *o^

      • goozer

        Been there, done both (or so I thought…) X1 was a Texan. X2 was a Mexican. X3 will be an Orion slave girl. 😉

        That’s a true story above, though. She was dead serious about setting me up, and it seemed that everyone else was conspiring to assist her! I hope my polite but firm refusal of her offer was understood. I already have one 18 yr. old asian girl on my softball team that seems to be trying to play “who’s your daddy!” 😯

        To be brutally honest, just as I was was beginning to listen to those telling me it really wasn’t too late to start a family, this election has permanently disabused me of that notion. There is absolutely no way I will bring a child into what is to come. :-(

        • Texacalirose

          I was teasing (as you know) and counter your argument against having children: the earth needs the progeny of those who are intelligent, productive, and as Bill Whittle recently so clearly described, virtuous.

          Whaddya think?

          • goozer

            I think that I am no longer in a position to offer a guaranteed provision for a family. It is a bitter thing to have to swallow…again.

            Sometimes, God says no.

    • If it’s to make yourself look cool… yes. If you “love her long time” — no. 😉

  • JimmyC

    Wow. I just recently watched the documentary about him, “Being Elmo”, and he came off as an incredibly decent family man. I constantly find it amazing how two-faced people can be. I can barely handle my own life. If I was trying to use it as a facade for another one, that just seems like way too much work.

    Floyd, you make an excellent point about how he should have avoided temptation in the first place. I once went to a Bible study where the pastor read a passage (can’t remember which book it was from; one of the letters of Paul, I think) about a young married man who is seen on the street with a prostitute. He is wrongfully accused of committing adultery, and loses his wife. I remember the pastor commented that “he may have been innocent of the charges, but what was he doing in that part of town in the first place?” I’ve always tried to remember that lesson in my own life: even if I’m not planning on doing anything wrong, I should know better than to court temptation in the first place.

  • INFJ

    To me, Billy Graham was one of, if not the greatest Evangelists in my lifetime. If he ever fell from grace, it would have been devastating to Christians of all denominations I believe he knew that.

  • Texacalirose

    Pickle me, Elmo!!

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