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mygif

All the talk about these accusations and reactions make Elmo sad.

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mygif

Maybe you should do a little more homework, then. The accuser retracted his claims that he was underage at the time (and the Sesame Workshop had already concluded as much when this was first brought to light to them).

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mygif

Maybe you should do a little more homework, then. The accuser retracted his claims that he was underage at the time (and the Sesame Workshop had already concluded as much when this was first brought to light to them).

And the first accuser has now retracted his retraction, claiming he was bullied into a settlement. Which does happen from time to time.

Again: I am not saying I believe the allegations. I am saying that people’s reactions are the same regardless of merit, and frankly your response is only illustrating my point.

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mygif
AidenLeoric said on November 20th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Finally we get to the bottom of this “Tickle Me Elmo” business!

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mygif

The accusers are saying that the sex occurred after they were sixteen. It’s still illegal, but I wouldn’t characterize it as being a child predator and being a performer for children (Elmo’s target age group would be 10 and under) would have little to do with it.

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mygif

One age inappropriate non-sexual relationship is a mistake, two are the beginning of a pattern leading to potential problems. Even if these are the only two such cases, it leads one to question his judgment re impact of after hours activities on his day job.

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Eric TF Bat said on November 20th, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Gingerly side-stepping the larger issue, there’s one thing that surprises me: that there are people saying “I love Elmo” with the flawed but entirely human consequence “it can’t be true”, which as you say is just plain human nature, but not people saying “I hate Elmo”, with or without the opposite consequence. I assumed Elmo was universally loathed and despised, but I’m not picking that up from what (little) I’ve read about this. It’s very odd.

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mygif

I assumed Elmo was universally loathed and despised, but I’m not picking that up from what (little) I’ve read about this. It’s very odd.

My only dislike of Elmo is that he has supplanted the far more deserving Grover as Little Kids’ Favorite Muppet. I suspect most people who claim to dislike Elmo feel the same way.

More importantly, dislike Elmo or not, anybody who loves Muppets will love Muppeteers by association.

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mygif

I just want people to stop using pedophilia incorrectly. It dose not mean any victim under the age of 20.
In this case we have ephebophilia maybe hebephilia but that doesn’t sound as scary for whipping up the hysterical frenzy. Ephebophilia also has homophobic double standards since hetero ephebophilia is just a red neck wedding.

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ladypeyton said on November 20th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I hate Elmo and admit that about 75% of my loathing is my true devotion to the best muppet ever, Grover, (the 2nd best is most definitely Kermit if anyone is keeping score) but 25% of my loathing comes from his obnoxiously high pitched falsetto voice that tends to make my ears bleed and often resulted in a migraine during the short period of time my daughter was a fan.

I’m kind of hoping that this whole thing results in Elmo being retired to Barney Island

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mygif

He’s not just Elmo, though. I’m pretty bummed, since I’m a big Muppet fan. I’ve been doing my best to ignore all of the news, since, like the Patreaus affair, right now most of it’s really just gossip.

About six months from now I’ll find an overview and read how it all shook out from the comforting distance of time, and be glad he’s not prominent in two of my big holiday traditions, The Christmas Toy and Bear in the Big Blue House’s Christmas special.

http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Kevin_Clash#Puppeteer

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Mitchell Hundred said on November 20th, 2012 at 8:30 pm

My reaction to this is basically the same as it was to the Tony Harris business. If it is true (and that is a big if), then it is a great tragedy that the man would do such a thing. But it does not change my opinion of his work as an artist. If you boycotted every creator who had ever done something terrible or dickish, that would leave you with a significantly diminished portfolio. It’s better to judge the person on their actions as a person and their art on its effectiveness as art, since that’s probably what history will do in the long run.

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mygif

Here’s a link for those – like Chris – who are unaware of the more recent developments:

http://news.sky.com/story/1014096/elmo-puppeteer-clash-quits-sesame-street

(That included me, for the record – I read this entire post wondering why we were still talking about something that was ‘resolved’ last week)

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mygif

I feel it necessary to point out that anyone whose primary response to this scandal is “GRR I hates that Elmo” is pretty fucking shallow.

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mygif

I hate Elmo – because, outside his Elmo’s World segments, he’s actually probably the worst role-model for kids. He’s selfish, he’s petty, he’s vindictive, he’s violent.

Now, let me be clear: *ALL* the “child”-aged characters make mistakes that hurt people and they have to live with the consequences or fix their mistakes. They’ve all been mean or selfish or behaved inappropriately at one point or another. That’s what children do, I’m not mad about that.

HOWEVER, they all come to face with their mistakes, they all experience regret, they all apologize, they all make amends, they all learn from their mistakes and never do it again … except Elmo. Elmo frequently skips a step – maybe he experiences regret in a selfish way, like when he grows to the size of Hooper’s store and ruins everyone’s fun but only feels sad because he can’t come inside for milkshakes; sometimes he doesn’t even really apologize, like when he makes Zoe cry by drowning her pet rock; he doesn’t always make amends – sometimes everyone else on Sesame Street bends over backwards to fix Elmo’s problems for him, and even have to browbeat him to let them fix the damage he’s done; Elmo’s also the only one I can think of who does the same hurtful thing over and over again (specifically how mean he is to Zoe over her pet rock, but more generally by taking things that aren’t his or throwing temper tantrums). All his growth and learning is self-centered – tie his shoes, spell his name, etc, with maybe one example I can think of in the last three years or so where he helped a friend at any cost to himself.

But he gets away with anything because he’s “cute” and his merchandise sells well. He disgusts me, he seems like a betrayal of the core values of the Sesame Street I grew up with, and his vile presence has displaced numerous other muppets – when’s the last time you saw Prairie Dawn or Herry Monster, or even Snuffleupagus? (Snuffie’s had, what, one episode in the the last three years? and he was cursed with invisibility for most of it.)

I’ve wanted to douse Elmo in gasoline for like fifteen years… but that hate doesn’t mean I assume that the man who puppets Elmo is guilty.

(I *do* assume that they’re not going to retire Elmo, so next season we’ll just have another muppet with a bad case of “that’s not the right voice,” so I don’t see how there’s even room for Elmo-haters to be happy, here.)

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steve, from the internet said on November 21st, 2012 at 4:45 am

Damn, I wish I had such a well-thought-through reason for not liking Elmo. I’ve just never liked him (although to be fair I am decades older than the target audience, so maybe it’s just my neophobia).

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mygif

DataShade beat me to it. My biggest issue with Elmo is that he is not a problem solver. Grover has a problem, Grover solves it. Elmo has a problem, Elmo whines, the problem gets resolved. Kids actually learn to do that without help, thanks, guys.

That said, one of my friends is an amateur puppeteer and a HUGE fan of Kevin Clash, and she’s openly upset, but in no way in denial. Or maybe I’m a my friend supporter who’s in obvious denial of her denial!

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mygif

@Jim – I hope my reason for hating Elmo didn’t feel like it came with a “Grrrr.” It didn’t. And I just don’t feel educated enough about the Kevin Clash situation to offer an opinion about it, aside from the fact that I feel, whatever truly happened, it’s a damned shame all around.

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mygif

I wonder what will happen with the documentary Being Elmo. I enjoyed that a lot when I watched it before, but it’s a bit rough to contemplate now. It’s a shame that all of the people that worked on it have had their work tainted.

Reflecting on some of the prior comments a bit, I’d say that Elmo’s role as one who does not solve his own problems could be problematic if done in a vacuum. If it’s presented as one of many stories, then it may be beneficial for the child-as-observer/outsider to identify with the ongoing narrative. Either way, I’ll pay more attention as my daughter subjects me to children’s television.

What strikes me as very interesting is the level of negative response that people have towards the ongoing procession of Sesame Street monsters*. It seems to me like something that is a natural part of aging performers. There’s a lot of work for the individual puppeteer involved in running a character. Although we can still have certain characters around after their originator passes, I’d say it’s a difficult proposition for an individual to not only satisfactorily be able to replicate voice & mannerisms of someone they’re replacing, but to also be willing to devote their career to doing someone else’s schtick may just be too much of an additional factor. Grover was great and is still getting appearances, but maybe it’s too much to expect him to be the star he once was. Long live Grover. Hopefully my daughter likes my impression when reading Monster at the End of This Book

*The Disney ownership of the Muppets brand makes a difference when discussing what’s a Muppet or a monster.

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Mark Temporis said on November 24th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

An older man being involved with two sixteen-year-olds doesn’t bother me quite as much as, say, Sandusky.

It’s skeevy, but when there are several states in the US where the age of consent is sixteen I don’t think it’s anything you can get on a moral high horse about.

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William Kendall said on November 26th, 2012 at 4:54 pm

“My only dislike of Elmo is that he has supplanted the far more deserving Grover as Little Kids’ Favorite Muppet. I suspect most people who claim to dislike Elmo feel the same way.”

Exactly. My sentiments precisely.

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mygif

I’m on the wrong side of the Atlantic to know for sure whether this “As a fan of X, I automatically hate X’s accusers,” business applied to the Jimmy Savile case, but, with multiple formal inquiries currently under way, it seems that even if denial is inevitable, it’s not necessarily permanent.

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Halloween Jack said on November 26th, 2012 at 9:36 pm

As far as I’ve been able to tell, the sequence of events is this:
1) First man accuses Clash of having sex with him when he’s underage.
2) First man recants; says they had sex, but not when he was underage. TMZ says that it was after Clash had made a “six-figure” settlement (which IIRC they later specifically stated as $125K); The Smoking Gun casts doubt on that, saying that when the settlement was supposedly negotiated, first man’s attorney had already dropped him as a client.
3) Second man comes along, says that Clash had sex with him when he was underage; later amends that to say that they “dry-humped” but didn’t have skin-contact sex until he was of legal age.
4) First man recants his recantation.

I’m a little dubious. I really don’t see that much similarity to the Sandusky case; it’s a lot more like the Michael Jackson case, in which the first (civil) trial ended in Jackson settling (after the physical examination which Jackson reportedly (and believably) never really recovered emotionally from), and the second (criminal) trial, in which charges were pressed after Jackson refused to settle again, and which resulted in an acquittal despite LA prosecutors having attempted to build a case for at least a decade.

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mygif

Too much reason, not enough pitchfork grabbing. If you refuse to provide me with the knee-jerk reactions and baseless polemic attacks I need to form my opinions, I’ll have to take my invaluable attention elsewhere. The nerve of some writers.

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