The voice and puppeteer behind "Sesame Street's" Elmo has resigned from the popular children's show, a little more than a week after child-sex allegations against him first came to light.
Kevin Clash, who was the subject of the documentary film "Being Elmo," was accused last week of having sex with a Pennsylvania man when the man was 16. Clash denied the allegation, and his accuser recanted the claim one day later, though he has since reverted to his original story, gossip website TMZ reports.
But now a new allegation has come up from a second accuser.
In the second accusation against Clash, another man claims he and Clash had sex 20 years ago when the man was only 15.
That second claim may have been too much for "Sesame Street's" producers, who announced Tuesday that Clash was resigning from the show. The public statement called the controversy a "distraction" from the mission of "Sesame Street," and cited that as the reason for Clash's resignation, The New York Times reports.
So far, it appears that Clash is maintaining his innocence.
While Clash officially resigned from "Sesame Street," producers of the program would likely have been within their rights to fire him.
In most circumstances, your personal life shouldn't affect your employment so long as you get to work on time and get your work done. But if your personal life becomes a public controversy, then it can have an effect on your employment.
Employers do have the right to fire employees whose personal reputation conflicts with the mission or reputation of the company. If your personal life reflects poorly on your employer or organization, then it may soon be your ex-employer.
Clash, who has been the voice of Elmo for 28 years, took a leave of absence from his work last week. Elmo will continue to appear on "Sesame Street," voiced by other actors whom Clash has trained.
- Kevin Clash Resigns: Sesame Street Elmo Puppeteer Steps Down Amid Underage Sex Allegations (The Huffington Post)
- Being Fired (FindLaw)
- Voice of Elmo Accused of Sex with Underage Teen (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)