Whitewashing Pedophilia at PBS

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.

The statement:

"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.