Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
Parents will be relieved to learn that the man who had accused Kevin Clash, the creator and voice of the wildly popular Sesame Street character “Elmo,” has recanted his allegations that Clash engaged in an underage sexual relationship with him. The New York Times has more:
“Mr. Clash has taken a leave of absence from Sesame Workshop, the organization that produces “Sesame Street,” to challenge the allegations.
Andreozzi & Associates, a law firm that said it represented the accuser said in a statement that “he wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship.” The statement added, “He will have no further comment on the matter.”
The accuser’s identity has not been disclosed.
Mr. Clash said through a spokeswoman: “I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further.”
Sesame Workshop had no immediate comment on when Mr. Clash would return to work. But the organization said in a statement Tuesday afternoon, “We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode.”
On Monday, TMZ said that the accuser, now 24 years old, contacted Sesame Workshop last summer and claimed that, beginning at the age of 16, he had a sexual relationship with Mr. Clash.”
Add a Comment
Monday, November 12th, 2012
Kevin Clash, the “Sesame Street” puppeteer who has voiced Elmo since 1985, has taken a leave of absence from the show following allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor, TODAY reports. The 23-year-old accuser alleged that his sexual relationship with Clash began when he was 16. Representatives from Sesame Workshop concluded that the allegations were unsubstantiated, but added that “Kevin exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding Internet usage and he was disciplined.” In a statement, Clash added, “I had a relationship with the accuser. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was.” No date has been set for Clash’s return.
Add a Comment
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
The beloved children’s character Elmo–a Sesame Street Muppet–went on the radio in New York City this morning to talk directly to children who were feeling unsettled and frightened in the wake of the superstorm Sandy, which had particularly damaging effects on the city and surrounding areas. From NBC News.com (the Elmo segment is linked to from the NBC page):
On Tuesday morning, “Sesame Street’s” Elmo visited Brian Lehrer’s WNYC’s radio show and spoke directly to his young audience. And as it turns out, the Muppet is a hurricane pro, having been through a scary storm on “Sesame Street” in the past.
Well, the wind started blowing really bad, and we had to put tape on windows and stuff,” he explained of the episode. He even had to help his pal Big Bird put his nest back together after the storm destroyed it.
Joining Elmo and host Lehrer was Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, the vice president of education and research for Sesame Workshop. She explained that the episode was created long before Sandy or even Hurricane Katrina. It was meant to help parents if their kids should ever face a similar storm.
“‘Sesame Street’ is based on a whole child curriculum, and so we focus not only on the cognitive skills, but social and emotional skills of children,” Truglio said. “We wanted to have a community show like this where we could model for parents tips — so that we could model how you prepare for a storm and how you get through the storm with activities … and keeping your child calm and safe.”
As for Elmo, he took a question from a fan who wanted to know if he was scared on Monday night, as Hurricane Sandy hit his hometown.
“Yeah, but Elmo was with his mommy and daddy, so Elmo asked a lot of questions and learned a lot about what was happening,” he assured.
Image: Elmo, via PBS.org
Add a Comment
Monday, September 3rd, 2012
A new study from Cornell University suggests that just as brand names tempt us to buy certain soft drinks or candy bars, certain brands can also lead kids to select healthy foods, CNN.com reports.
In this case, the “brand” was Elmo. Researcher Brian Wansink wondered if Elmo stickers would make foods more appealing to kids.
Wansink and his team observed 208 children ages 8 to 11 as they ate lunch on five consecutive days. Each day the kids could choose an apple or a cookie (or both). On the first day, they were offered “unbranded” cookies and apples without Elmo stickers, so researchers could see their baseline choices. For the next three days, researchers offered cookies and apples with or without Elmo or another cartoon character the kids didn’t know. The last day, the cookies and apples were again sticker-free to determine if the effect lasted.
There was very little difference in the number of children who chose the cookies with the Elmo sticker versus the number who chose the unbranded package. But Wansink says he was surprised at the impact the Elmo sticker had on kids’ apple decisions – more than double chose to take the branded fruit. And that healthy effect lasted through the weekend.
“This study suggests that the use of branding or appealing branded characters may benefit healthier foods more than indulgent, more highly processed foods,” the authors wrote in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine journal.
Now if we could just figure out how to get that furry red face on some broccoli!
Image: Elmo via CNN.com
Add a Comment