Kevin Clash, the voice actor and puppeteer who made furry red Muppet Elmo famous, has resigned from "Sesame Street," Sesame Workshop said in a statement.
"Sesame Workshop's mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential," the statement read. "Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization.
"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.'"
On Nov. 12, Clash, 52, took a leave of absence from the show following allegations that he had a relationship that began when the young man in question was 16.
Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of 'Sesame Street' to engage, educate and inspire children around the world," said Sesame Workshop when Clash took his earlier leave.
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