On November 20, 2012, Sesame Workshop stated that Kevin Clash, who is the voice of Sesame Street’s Elmo has resigned after allegations of sexual relations with two under-age men. For Sesame Street, this might become a problem, as the peppy red puppet is defined by its one-of-a-kind voice.
The move has prompted many questions about Elmo’s future. The Hollywood media and image experts were asking questions about what must be done with their big star, who is now accused of statutory rape.
Mark Joseph, Hollywood producer and marketing consultant said, “Kids’ properties require extra sensitivity and in order to protect a brand like Elmo, PBS needs to move quickly to find a replacement”. Joseph added that there is no margin for error when it comes to kid’s properties and what might be forgiven in other contexts, are not forgiven when it comes to children.
Mark also explained that the new voice must be as similar as possible to Clash’s to avoid confusion among Elmo’s young viewership. Moreover, Elmo is not just a TV star and is also associated with toys, video games, cuddle pillows and software and is an international merchandising phenomenon. Others have also opined that Sesame Street must hire a new voice as soon as possible so that children do not lose out on one of their favorite characters.