Statements About Elmo Puppeteer's Resignation

After 28 years as Elmo's puppeteer, Kevin Clash has resigned following accusations of underage sexual relations. Last year, Clash starred in a documentary, "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey."

On its website, Sesame Street posted this message:

Sesame Street
After Clash's resignation, the website was updated with another statement:

Sesame Street 2
Further, in a statement to the press, Sesame Street noted, "None of us [at Sesame Workshop], 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. . . .This is a sad day for ‘Sesame Street.' "

Kevin Clash provided his own statement about the situation: 

"I am resigning from Sesame Workshop with a very heavy heart... I have loved every day of my 28 years working for this exceptional organization. Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work ‘Sesame Street' is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately."

Discussion Starters:

  • Assess Sesame Street's statements. What is effective, and what could be improved?
  • How, if at all, do you think Elmo's image will be affected?
  • How can Sesame Street preserve the brand at this point?