With the resignation of Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, Sesame Workshop is struggling with how to replace one of its top creative forces, reports Elizabeth Jensen in The New York Times.
As previously reported, Clash resigned last week after a new allegation surfaced that he had underage sexual relationships.
Jensen writes, "Mr. Clash, 52, was not just the man behind Elmo since 1985, he was also the PBS show’s Muppet leader, working with writers to troubleshoot technical problems. He was also an occasional director, a co-executive producer and the puppeteer behind numerous other characters besides Elmo. He traveled internationally to train puppeteers for ‘Sesame Street’ productions in other countries."
Sesame Workshop had no comment, the story notes.
Production of the final episodes of the 2013-14 season of "Sesame Street" went on a two-week break last week, with work scheduled to resume the week of Dec. 3. A therapist may be on hand for employees who need support, Jensen writes.
The Elmo character will continue, and the puppet was featured on a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float, with another puppeteer acting to Clash’s taped voice, the story adds.
The future of a new segment called "Elmo the Musical" that began in September will be determined once ratings data and research are in, but the production company hopes to continue it, the story adds.