Elmo - Who Could Replace Kevin Clash as Elmo on Sesame Street?
As two people have made allegations against Kevin Clash for sex with under age boys the star Elmo puppeteer has resigned from Sesame Street leaving the fate of Elmo somewhat in the lurch.
Although Sesame Street have said that Elmo is bigger than this scandal, and will continue to appear in the show, there are still plenty of questions about how that will work with the absence of Clash.
Marketing consultant Mark Joseph told Fox News, "Kids' properties require extra sensitivity and in order to protect a brand like Elmo, PBS needs to move quickly to find a replacement... There is no margin for error when it comes to kids' properties, and what might be forgiven in other contexts are not in that world."
Joseph seems to underestimate children's abilities to adapt, and there have been plenty of other animated characters whose voices and identities have changed in the course of their careers without much outcry. Canada's Arthur the aardvark has had 6 people give him a voice since 1996. In the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, two actresses played Vivien Banks, Will's aunt during its 6 seasons. Plus, though not for children, Family Guy's Meg has had two actresses give her a voice.
Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR urged for the transition to be swift: "Sesame Street should hire a new voice and distance themselves from Clash as soon as possible. The $75 million in annual sales Elmo generates is larger than Clash, and in the big picture, I don't believe the young kids who love Elmo will be affected by this crisis."
Despite Clash's exit from the company, TMZ have reported that Elmo will still appear at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan. A representative for Macys told TMZ that "Elmo will be joining his Muppet friends on the Sesame Street float with an alternate puppeteer bringing him to life." Adding, "Current events have no bearing on Sesame's participation in the Parade and we are confident their world-renowned, family-friendly entertainment and educational programming will continue to bring kids and families joy for decades."