Another victim has come forward and accused the voice of Sesame Street’s Elmo of engaging in pedophilia. Kevin Clash, the 28-year voice of Elmo, has resigned from the show after another alleged victim has come forward, this time in court. Cecil Singleton has sued Clash for engaging in sexual conduct with the boy when he was 15. Singleton is the second victim to come forward.
The reaction of the government-funded PBS’s Sesame Workshop? Condemnation? Disgust? Hardly.
“Sesame Workshop’s mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential. Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street.”
(outrageous emphasis all mine.)
Let’s deconstruct the statement. First the praise: “Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years.” Really? What will PBS do when we learn that Clash’s access to children through Sesame Workshop may have resulted in abuse the same way Jerry Sandusky’s access to kids at Penn State did? Will PBS stand by Clash the same way the statement does?
Pedophiles notoriously enter professions that give them access to children. Like a fisherman with a lure, they rely on puppets, football tickets, candy, balloons, toys and worse to attract victims. Did Clash’s “achievement” of the PBS “mission for 28 years” have a darker side? It seems strange that his employers would tout his good work.
Next: “none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention.” So nice to see that Sesame Workshop is doing Clash’s bidding. If Kevin wouldn’t want it, neither would we.
“the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want.”
The “controversy?” “Personal life?” Let’s call it what it really is: criminal allegations of child rape. It isn’t personal, unless you are a member of NAMBLA, when an adult engages in sex with a minor boy. It is public. It is against the law.
Nor is it a “controversy.” It is a crime.
Is this the world the supporters of government-funded broadcast media want? Do they really want a world where criminal pedophiles are excused because of their good work for 28 years? Is anything that involves alleged crimes by gay pedophiles an intrusion into someone’s “personal life?”
It seems so.
Even late today, the accused pedophile Clash is featured prominently on the Sesame Workshop webpage. The front page has this graphic containing Clash’s photo.
The photo links to this page that says:
Congratulations to the Sesame Workshop team for receiving an Emmy for Growing Hope Against Hunger, a special focusing on the invisible crisis of food insecurity in the United States. Food insecurity is a difficult issue for parents and children to discuss, and Growing Hope Against Hunger sought to present personal stories about food insecure families that would help raise awareness about hunger as well strategies that have helped these families grow stronger and more secure. Congratulations to . . . Producer Kevin Clash.
Here’s what PBS should say instead:
We are disgusted by the allegations against Kevin Clash. We at PBS take our responsibility as a publicly supported corporation seriously. Child sexual abuse is a tragic crime and will never be tolerated. Unfortunately, Mr. Clash was placed in a position where he had access to children as the voice of Elmo and that cannot continue. We know that pedophilia is a crime that affects lives well into adulthood and we will do all we can to help any victims.
That’s the only reaction America should tolerate from PBS. After all, we pay the bills.