Sesame Street, Elmo, and Kevin Clash

Over the past few weeks, a mini-drama has been growing over Kevin Clash, who voices Elmo, the little red Sesame Street monster.

First there was a man who claimed that Clash had relations with him while he was under 18; then he recanted his claim. Since then, however, two other men have come forward with the same story.

Oh dear.

I love Sesame Street, and the Muppets. During this past Presidential election, Mitt Romney said he was ready to end funding of PBS and CTW, the homeland of Sesame Street, and there was a backlash: people claimed (very fairly) that Mitt Romney wanted to kill Big Bird, inspiring images like this:

Well, Obama won the election.

And now it turns out that the voice of Elmo is a child molester.

Awful? Of course. But oddly timed. I can’t help wondering if this is Republican reprisal for the election, to weaken PBS as a whole. I wonder if they’ve been digging for dirt on PBS, and finally found some.

Clash, if guilty, should be punished. But PBS should not be punished.

The mission of PBS is to make America a little smarter. It made me smarter, back in the 1970s. As for expense: they (together with NPR) receive one one-hundredth of one percent of the Federal budget, for God’s sake!

If we have to jettison Kevin Clash, fine.

But let’s not jettison PBS.

Let your representatives and senators know how you feel about this.

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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