For Elmo, Perseverance in the Macy’s Parade– Do you think this will apply to the ideal that there is no such thing as bad publicity?

23 Nov

November 22, 2012, 1:23 pm

For Elmo, Perseverance in the Macy’s Parade

Elmo and Big Bird made their way through the streets of Manhattan during the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday.Andrew Kelly/Getty Images Elmo and Big Bird made their way through the streets of Manhattan during the 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday.

As they watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, some viewers may have wondered: would Elmo make an appearance?

The beloved “Sesame Street” character has been in the news this month because the puppeteer who plays him, Kevin Clash, has been accused of having sexual relationships with minors.

Mr. Clash resigned from “Sesame Street” on Tuesday, the same day that one accuser filed a lawsuit against him. But the show’s producers affirmed what they have said since the allegations surfaced — that “Elmo is bigger than any one performer” — by having the character appear on the “Sesame Street” float in the parade on Thursday.

Elmo, played by an unnamed performer, appeared alongside Big Bird on the float, which was sponsored by the Web site, Cardstore. When the float appeared on NBC’s telecast of the parade, the co-hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie made no mention of Elmo or the recent headlines about Mr. Clash. But hundreds of people commented about Elmo’s presence on Twitter and Facebook, with some cracking jokes and others expressing relief that the character wasn’t sidelined by the scandal.

Sesame Workshop, the organization that produces the show, declined to comment on Thursday. But a Sesame Workshop executive said on condition of anonymity that the organization never considered pulling Elmo from the float.

As it turns out, the cast of the show, including Mr. Clash, recorded audio for a performance for NBC’s telecast of the parade weeks before before the accusations against Mr. Clash were made public. (Participants in the telecast lip-sync when they’re actually in the parade.)

The song recorded by the cast, “What I Am,” was originally performed by on a “Sesame Street” episode in 2010. In the version for the Thanksgiving parade, Elmo had one solo line, “Nothing’s going to bring us down” — coincidental but appropriate, in light of Sesame Workshop’s resolution not to let Elmo be hobbled by the scandal surrounding Mr. Clash.


Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Uncategorized


3 responses to “For Elmo, Perseverance in the Macy’s Parade– Do you think this will apply to the ideal that there is no such thing as bad publicity?

  1. countrygirl895

    November 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    I always thought that if a subject was trending on Twitter or the news couldn’t stop talking about something than something potentially positive was probably coming out of it, even if it was a scandal. What I’ve learned, though, is that not all press is good press, and the situation with Elmo’s puppeteer falls under the not so good press category. I don’t think the beloved children’s show character should have been absent from the float on the Macy’s Day Parade, but I do think there’s a bit of backlash that will come from parents who don’t understand the whole story behind what went down and why Elmo was there. Sesame Street is bound to be ridiculed over what happened meaning that not all publicity is good.

  2. bananas320

    November 26, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Personally, I do not think that this is an offensive thing. Just because Elmo’s puppeteer was a creeper doesnt mean the character was ever meant to be a creeper. I agree with the sentiment above that the children dont understand whats going on in the larger scale of things on the topic. It just doesnt seem right that people are being so superficial as to get offended at the appearance of the character and not realizing that the man who pulled the strings was the one with the issues. I think in a way, this does give a certain attention to Sesame Street that will bring in some viewers, but at the same time, it wasnt in a good light by a long shot, but the man was fired, action was taken so I feel like well, its under the bridge now for a viewer standpoint.

  3. tex2524

    November 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    I personally don’t believe it’s fair to associate negative beliefs, connotations, thoughts, whatever you may call them to Elmo as a charecter just because the man “pulling the strings” was the one with a problem. Elmo has been such an influencial charecter in the lives of countless numbers of children for many, many years. Elmo’s reputation shouldn’t be tarnished because of one man’s bad decision making. However, i believe that it is only fair to assume that this incident and elmo’s prescence at the Macy’s Day Parade does create some backlash within Sesame street but I believe that it will not greatly affect the show as a whole, I feel like it will continue to influence many children in positive ways just as it always has. It’s an unfortunate situation, but I believe it was handled in a proper way.


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