Sesame Street and Elmo Live On?

Elmo and Kevin Clash. Photo Courtesy of Bryan Bedder and Getty Images. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL
Elmo and Kevin Clash. Photo Courtesy of Bryan Bedder and Getty Images. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL
Elmo and Kevin Clash. Photo Courtesy of Bryan Bedder and Getty Images. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL

To the surprise of many who support and adore the Elmo character, Kevin Clash, the long time voice of the famous puppet, and his off-screen life placed some uncertainty over its fate. As of today, a third man, has come forward indicating he too had an inappropriate relationship with Clash when he was a teen. This accuser has also indicated he has a book that will be released soon that will discuss this period of time spent with Clash.

All of this reminds me of when Paul Reubens, aka Pee-Wee Herman, was arrested and CBS dropped his children’s show, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Paul’s career never rebounded from his child pornography scandal. In fact, one could say Reubens’ transgressions made it possible for people to take Clash’s with little surprise. Guilty or not, Clash will more than likely not re-enter the children’s entertainment scene. This incident has casted too big of a cloud over him that will more than likely prevent his career from flourishing again. The public seems to forgive and forget drunk driving, abuse and adultery, but sexual acts against a minor is etched in stone.

Sesame Street who originally stood by Clash even after the quick settlement with the first accuser, has managed to distance themselves from the man who brought in a considerable amount of money to the brand. With the resignation of Clash, Sesame Street has continued to move forward with operations not discussing who will be the new long-term voice of Elmo in the show.

Sesame Street has become quite the popular show this year thanks to former Presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney. His comment during the first debate to cut funding to PBS sent fans of the network in a flurry. In fact, Governor Romney probably refueled the passion for the beloved children’s show, in particularly Big Bird. Now the question arrives, how will Clash’s scandals affect the Sesame Street or Elmo brand?

Many believe Sesame Street, especially with its prompt movement to address and accept Kevin’s resignation, will remain unscaved. Let’s face it. The show has been around for decades and has maintained a wholesome image through the years. Sort of reminds you of what Walt Disney and his legacy did for his characters and theme parks. Although both have faced concerning chatter regarding employees, both are considered iconic across generations and will probably remain that way.

So if Sesame Street is left standing with hardly a blemish, what about Elmo?

Hasbro probably has just as much if not more to lose if Elmo doesn’t rise from the scandals. Hasbro is the sole toy maker for Sesame Street. The Tickle Me Elmo doll and other Elmo items alone has accounted for half of sales for the Sesame Street toys. On top of Elmo carrying such a large weight of sales, his interest has seen a decline over the past few years. However, this Christmas season Hasbro released the LOL Elmo toy. So will Elmo be hurt by the scandal?

According to Gerrick Johnson, a toy analyst, the LOL Elmo toy has been flying off the shelves since Black Friday. Looks like Elmo will live on!

One would never want to be entangled with any scandal, but Sesame Street seems to have shown the world what to do if you are attached to one.

  • Move quick to provide concise statements to the public.
  • Keep it moving.

It will be interesting to see how Sesame Street and PBS handles their renewed popularity.

What do you think? Will you still support Sesame Street? Elmo? Have you already forgotten about Kevin Clash?

Comment below. Your reply may be used for an upcoming article.


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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstore