Kevin Clash, the puppeteer and voice behind Elmo, resigned a couple weeks ago, after allegations were made that he had underage sexual relationships. Hasbro, the main toy licensee for āSesame Streetā products, said in a statement:
āWe are confident that Elmo will remain an integral part of Sesame Street and that Sesame Street toys will continue to delight children for years to come.ā
Really? What about parents? Experts have said that they are estimating that Elmo-related toy sales would be down maybe by about 10 percent because of the stories related about Clashās personal life. Uh, well, Elmo related toys still bring in millions, so Iām not feeling too bad for Hasbro. But while Elmo may continue to delight children, Iām not so sure, like I said, about parents.
My son, now six months, has just discovered Elmo. Meaning, my fiancĆ© put Elmo on my iPad for him and heāll watch for a good half hour (and, no, donāt come down hard on me because heās watching Elmo at six months. He likes it, and mommy likes to EAT occasionally uninterrupted.) But I just canāt seem to get over this whole voice behind Elmo and the allegations. I believe that I have to take the allegations seriously, especially in regard to a product and a brand that I give to my children.
Whenever I hear Elmoās voice in the background, all I can think of is, āDid he do it?ā (Meaning Clash, not Elmo.)
When my daughter was in diapers at age two and could speak, she literally would only wear the diapers with Elmo on the front. I had to buy BOXES of diapers and just pick out the ones with Elmo on the front (It was easier than arguing with her.) Personally, I find Elmo fucking annoying, just like I find most childrenās toys and characters voice annoying. Yeah, heās cute. But still. THAT VOICE!
Iām not going to refuse to let my children watch the shows just because I end up hearing, āElmoās World!ā or āI love you, you love me, weāre a happy family!ā ā Barney) singing in my head like a broken record. But I AM actually thinking that maybe Elmo should be banned from my house. Yes, Clash resigned and yes, he hasnāt been committed of a crime, but accused of one. And, yes, I do believe in innocent until proven guilty. But stillā¦.I will never think of Elmo the same again.
So whatās a mother to do? Does she let her child watch Elmo, with a new voice, even though Iām now soured on Elmo (again, perhaps this isnāt entirely fair) And, yes, there will be a new voice. But then Iāll always be thinking, āThereās a new voice becauseā¦ā
My daughter, age nine, has heard about all the Elmo attention and commotion from friends at school, and Iāve also had to explain to her what happened or may have happened. Thank God, sheās way past the Elmo stage so doesnāt give a shit about Elmo. But my son? Heās just getting into it.