Okay, here’s my problem. Now that Kevin Clash’s accuser has recanted his previous allegations of sexual abuse, we should all be relieved right? Because it, potentially means that Clash was innocent of the charges and we can all go back to loving Elmo with little-to-no awkwardness in our souls. However, it also means that we have one more person in the world who made up a sexual abuse story (for whatever reason), making it that much harder for actual cases of sexual abuse to be taken seriously. And then again– as PITNBR Lynne pointed out– “Elmo” might have written someone a big fat check. So yeah, I’m kinda pissed about this whole movement. Click inside for more; hopefully you can feel me SMH as I type. Madness.
Special thanks to PITNBRS Hannah and laura h, who both broke the story on our last Kevin Clash post. E! has the update:
Good news for Elmo: Kevin Clash’s accuser is changing his tune.
The now-23-year-old man who accused the famed puppeteer of an illegal relationship has recanted his allegations and now says that the two had an “adult consensual relationship” as Clash previously claimed.
The accuser’s attorney released a statement to E! News, clarifying the nature of his relationship with 52-year-old Clash.
“This office represented the 23-year-old man who was the subject of many media reports regarding Kevin Clash. He wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship. He will have no further comment on the matter.”
Clash also issued his own statement in response:
“I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest,” the Emmy-winning Muppet man said. “I will not discuss it further.”
Sesame Street Workshop has also responded to matter via a statement on its website that “we are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode.”
Strangely enough, on the New York Times website, a lot of people are blaming TMZ for breaking this story before getting more info on the allegations. Some say that Clash’s reputation is tarnished forever (true) because of a gossip site. Now I read and shared TMZ’s report and while it was shocking, I thought they specifically tried to point out that Kevin Clash was denying the allegations the whole time. And just because the accuser recanted the story later, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have known about the initial accusations… right? I mean, this is a good argument against gossip sites… so obviously I’m a bit opposed to it. But the bottom line (IMO) is that TMZ did not send those e-mails from Kevin Clash’s work desk, making them available to the public. TMZ also didn’t begin a (allegedly non-sexual) relationship with a teenaged boy. That was allll Kevin Clash. I understand that Clash is a brilliant, talented man with a great story (many of you have recommended the documentary on him, which I’ve been meaning to watch, Being Elmo), but like many people in the public light, he will never achieve true privacy.
However, I do find it unfortunate that he was forced to come out as a result of all of this. I’m only recently learning about how important it is to really do something like that on your own terms.
As far as the anonymous accuser goes, I’m pissed at him too. He was either lying from the beginning, or he was paid off to recant his story, or he just decided to drop the whole thing because he was reeeallly busy gearing up for the Twilight: Breaking Dawn- Part 2 premiere. I know I don’t know everything behind this, but it’s still… infuriating. Every story like this (where someone screams ‘rape’ or ‘statutory rape’ or ‘sexual abuse’) does so much effing damage to the real cases of such acts. The fact that so many people kind of roll their eyes when a celebrity (or any person of so-called high rank) gets accused of something like this is proof that all of the ‘crying wolf’ out there or recanting, or even settling out of court is bad, bad, bad for the other, real victims everywhere. Do you guys know what I mean? If I’m ranting, it’s because this is the story I woke up to, and it’s just bad! Good news for Elmo, bad news for a lot of other people, and for a society that already participates in victim-blaming. What I mean is, when the next sexual abuse story gets reported (whether we’re aware of it or not), many of us will be waiting for the victim to recant. Stories like Kevin Clash’s may end up becoming yesterday’s news, but they also become a part of our own psyches and affect the way we think– again– whether we know it or not.
Okay, rant complete (for now). What do you guys think about this news?