Elmo Muppeteer Kevin Clash resigns from Sesame Street

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JLG

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Heartbreaking. This is just heartbreaking. I feel horrible.
 

SSLFan

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Thought I'd share one of my favorite Elmo moments.

 

D'Snowth

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Huh? I have the utmost respect for Richard Hunt and have never heard anything about him to the contrary.
Some of the anecdotes in the book Street Gang paint a picture of him being something of a hot head behind-the-scenes from time to time.
 

JLG

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I've been to Tau Bennet's YouTube channel and was just watching the vid where he interviews moviegoers at the Being Elmo premiere via his reporter puppet character. It ends with him talking (in character) to first Elmo and then Clash himself. Clash said how proud he was of Tau and looked forward to seeing him progress. It just hurts to watch that. I don't know what the poor kid is thinking right now. I hope he can keep his dreams together despite this blow.
 

kessto

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My heart is heavy with the whole situation, Mr. Clash was and still is one of my idols and heroes. I just pray for him and his family and hope that in the end there can somehow be a positive outcome for his life and wonderful career. As he served as an inspiration to myself and many others, not only as a fantastic entertainer, gifted puppeteer, and strong black man.
 

dwayne1115

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When I sit here and hear all these wonderful things people have to say about Kevin, even people who have not meet him it really touches my heart, and I'm sure if Kevin reads any of this it would his as well.
 

BIGMuppetFan

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That is simply amazing, gives me goose bumps. Thank you so much for posting that, definitely made my day. that clip pretty much sums up what Sesame Street and all of Jim Henson's Muppets are truly about.
You Are Welcome! I know, Love, Friendship, and Being yourself, is what the Muppets are all about.

If Kevin were to read these posts he would feel the Love for him, as Elmo Gave love to all of us.
 

frogtownhollow

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This is complete and utter bull. So what if Kevin has a life we don't look proudly at? Richard Hunt did, and he was on Sesame Street until his end.
What was wrong with Richard's life? He was a gay man - so what? So am I. I'm proud of him. He did nothing wrong.

That was a ridiculous comment.

And as for the whole Kevin issue - he didn't rape anyone. Was it a dumb thing to seek considering his career? Sure. But for goodness sake, it was just poor judgement. It wasn't like he took out the Elmo puppet and talked to "kids" and asked them to have sex. It was his private life - he kept it seperate - he didn't mix the two. And these weren't "kids" in the strictest sense. They were young adults, looking for sex too, or else they wouldn't have consented. NOT that I'm saying what he did was OK - he just should have known better, especially considering his job.
 

dwmckim

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Pretty overwhelmimg stuff here. I was originally just going to drop in and rather than do a longer post, just simply express a short simple:

"Elmo very sad"

But i also didn't think it would be a good idea to post without reading through the thread first and there's a few things that shouldn't pass without comment... (apologies in advance for typos...yet again my system is acting up and am having to retype after having nearly finished and lost everything...)

*** Kevin has resigned from Sesame Street. This does not mean he'll never work again as a puppeteer on other projects and i would trust he'd still stay involved with The Jim Henson Company and/or the Classic Muppets (for the newbies joining us "Classic Muppets" is fanspeak for the Muppet Show gang of Muppets currently owned by Disney). The guy is one of the most talented puppeteers in the industry truly among the Top Tier in terms of pure ability. He can get movement and expression out of puppets in ways very few can match...and that's not even going into his additional gifts of vocals and characterization. His overall non-Sesame career is not over nor should it be. It would be a colossial waste if he didn't continue working on other projects. I don't imagine he'll be working on properties that are aimed specifically for children for awhile but will still probably continue with family friendly all-ages projects (i.e. the difference between working on something like Pajanimals vs. The Classic Muppets). Heck, he could probably still work on stuff behind the scenes such as puppeteer training. We've not seen the last of Kevin Clash or his artistry; we're not saying goodbye to any future performances...it's just the Sesame Street days that are behind him.

*** Whether innocent, guilty or (as is usually the case in interpersonal relationship cases where there's two sides to every story) somewhere "in between", Kevin has a lasting legacy of testimony to his character as a loving generous person who has fully embodied the Hensonian practice of leaving the world a better place" The guy has tirelessly given of himself to others and at the end of the day that will always remain his legacy - the first and the last chapter and a whole lotta pages in between. Compare that with his accusers who are quite sketchy to say the least. It's not my place to say who's right or wrong as these are all people not in my own personal life...but i *do* know who's certainly more trustworthy and has the stronger track record of overall strength of character and will remain why i shall continue to be a huge supporter of Kevin Clash. Ironically enough, sad though it may be for those of us on the other end of the tv screen, his very act of resigning itself is yet another example of said character - he's putting the needs of Sesame Workshop's goals/mission and all the children they help first above his own personal needs. Similar to how his initial leave of absence last week was at his doing, he has chosen to distance himself from Sesame rather than the other way around to best allow Sesame Workshop to function at its best. It may leave us sad but Kevin is a class act when it comes right down to it. (Psst...wanna have some fun? Try saying "Kevin Clash: a class act" ten times fast.)

*** Don't worry about Elmo. Back in 1990 when Jim died unexpectedly, that was a major blow because it was the first Major Loss. Since then, the Muppet teams at Henson/Disney/Sesame have had to come to grips with and accept the harsh but inevitable reality that human beings can only continue working for so long and that one day each and every one will be lost. In some cases it's planned or expected such as upcoming retirement or ill health/old age and in others it's random - no one is immune to being suddenly lost in a plane crash, natural disaster, random act of violence, etc. Even if none of this was going on in Kevin's personal life, there's no way Sesame Workshop wouldn't have years ago outlined some basic plans in regards to "What will happen if we were to suddenly lose Kevin (or Joey, or David, or "insert name here")?" We as fans don't like talking about recasts but an entertainment company with iconic characters worth millions MUST confront these questions (well, they *could* choose to ignore them but they'd be the worst kinds of fools to do so) and i'm sure there's already plans in place for the day when Kevin's no longer available which has now come. Sesame Street will survive. Sesame Workshop will survive. And yes, Elmo will survive. Remember underneath it all the little fella's a monster and those Muppet Monsters are pretty resilient! In no time at all, expect to see Elmo singing and laughing with his friends and dare i say even continue to eat up the show at levels that we sometimes find distressing :wink:

*** There is no comparison/parallel to Richard Hunt. Both Kevin is and Richard was gay. That's the only commonality - end of story. What's happening with Kevin is not "because he's gay" (though his public outing was a result of it). The things confronting Kevin are due to the nature of relationships other people are claiming to have had with him. That's not a "gay thing" - it could just as well happen - and has - to straight public figures. Nothing of this nature happened to Richard. Many of us didn't know until after he passed away that he was gay and/or HIV Positive. (The first time i found out was reading it in the obituary section of The Advocate - ironically the first issue i was brave enough to purchase instead of just leafing through it at the bookstore ) Remember this was 1992 when even though a very large portion of the population were enlightened enough to know "gay" did not equal "bad", depictions of gay people on television was still scarce. AIDS/HIV still had a stigma attached to it due largely to ignorence/silence/lack of people in leadership (Reagan/Bush Sr et al) not speaking up. Again, i say that learning/knowing either Richard or Kevin were gay should in and of itself not cause Muppet fans to think differently of them. (I still can't even wrap my head around people who profess to BE Muppet fans who have followed decades of messages of inclusiveness and tolerance and diversity and respect for different people holding onto homophobic attitudes but the forum often smacks me back to reality whenever gay topics of discussion come up) Being gay or straight is a whole seperate ball of wax than what kind of relationships one has or how they treat other people they get involved with. I can understand full well a Muppet fan having doubts about Kevin's innocence, ethics, morals, or judgement after hearing about actions/activites Kevin's been accused of...but i shudder more violently than if i had eaten one of Oscar's sardine sundaes when i see someone say that just the very idea of either Kevin or Richard or any other member of the Muppet Creative Team's being a gay person "shatters" them or causes them to "question how they feel" about them. When i read stuff like that, i just want to say "turn in your Muppet Fan card please".

Sad day? Yes. Has the sun stopped shining on Sesame? No. (Not to say there aren't occassional overcast or rainy or snowy or windy days...after all how else would they teach about "weather" and "seasons"?) But Sesame, while dealt with the loss of a huge creative talent, will continue to survive and teach and make millions of kids (and adults) happy just as Kevin will continue to give his gifts and talents to the world one way or the other.
 
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