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Puppeteer Says Goodbye To Elmo After Allegations


Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who brought Elmo to life on Sesame Street, is stepping down after 28 years in the job.

Clash's departure comes a week after allegations that he had a relationship with an underage man. The man recanted a day later, but reportedly is now considering legal action amid reports than another accuser has come forward. Here's part of what Sesame Workshop, the show's producer, said in a statement today:

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 and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street.

A spokesperson told the New York Times that the resignation wouldn't affect the show, because Clash had been helping identify substitute puppeteers for Elmo.

NPR's Two Way blog is following the story.

-- Rick Holter  

Rick Holter is KERA's vice president of news. He oversees news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News has earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.