People disgust me. A lot.
Shortly after my warm & fuzzy blog post, I read an article about a 23 year old man who accused Sesame Street puppeteer (a.k.a. Elmo) Kevin Clash of beginning a relationship with him when he was 16. Clash alleges that their relationship began when the man was of age & the Children’s Television Workshop maintains that their investigation found the claims unwarranted. However, Clash will be taking a leave of absence from Sesame Street.
The comments I read ranged from ” Elmo’s Gay?” (Elmo is a puppet) to those claiming this is proof that homosexuality leads to pedophilia. First of all, I’m not going to comment on these accusations as there is an ongoing investigation. However, it disgusts me that bigots continue to use stories like this to front their agenda. 51 year old Doug Hutchinson married 16 year old Courtney Stodden and while there was a minor outcry, it was considered acceptable. Should we assume that because Hutchinson chose to marry Stodden, that all white, Middle Aged men are predators? Of course not.
To vilify an entire group of people based on accusations is disgusting. There are good & bad in all groups & to use this incident to try and push hatred is even more disgusting. Demanding a ban on Elmo as he’s now “gay?” Clash has been openly gay for years & children do not see sexuality. They see people (or in this case, monsters), which is how we should all view the world. Elmo’s sexuality (or lack thereof) means nothing to them. They just care about his adventures with Dorothy the fish. Sesame Street is a wonderful tool to help children learn, let’s not taint it. Besides, we’ve all speculated about Bert & Ernie. If we should be campaigning anything, it should be to marry them off so they can stop living in sin!
As for Mr. Clash, if he is indeed guilty, that’s for a court to decide, not us. If he is innocent, I hope he gets to peacefully return to his life as Elmo.