NEW YORK — Cookie Monster grapples with an eating disorder. Oscar the Grouch gets cranky. Mr. Snuffleupagus gets the blues.
But Elmo seemed immune to any of that on Sesame Street.
The key to Elmo is his innocence, his positiveness and his sweetness, according to Kevin Clash, the man who created him and once told The Associated Press, I would love to be totally like Elmo.
Now Clash has been scandalously separated from Elmo and from Sesame Street, the TV series where he reigned behind the scenes for 28 years.
Clash spoke of personal matters as the cause of his resignation Tuesday after an unthinkable nine-day stretch that began with an unnamed man in his 20s claiming he had sex with Clash at age 16. That allegation was quickly recanted. But then came another accusation of sexual abuse, and a lawsuit.
That second accuser, a 24-year-old college student named Cecil Singleton, said the actor had engaged in sexual behavior with him when he was 15. He is suing for $5 million.
Clash's career may have ended, but Elmo still plays a key role on the show and on toy shelves.
On Tuesday, Hasbro issued a statement saying We are confident that Elmo will remain an integral part of Sesame Street and that Sesame Street toys will continue to delight children for years to come.
But no one knows how Elmo will fare going forward.
In the wake of a personal tragedy that may still be unfolding, Elmo's innocence, positiveness and sweetness will be put to the test.