Iconic Elmo voice actor Kevin Clash resigned from Sesame Street shortly after he was accused of engaging in sexual relationships with two teenage boys. Since then, another accuser has emerged, and now Vulture has learned that Warner Bros. Pictures is backing out of a movie deal with the voice actor.
Vulture notes that the studio, which has "has been moldering for decades," had been undergoing a revival of sorts, and Clash's new project could have continued that trend:
Clash had secretly been at work on a new character for the studio over this past summer and fall. It would have featured in “a ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ kind of movie about a kid and his stuffed animal that takes on a life of its own because of the child’s imagination,” according to a development document shared with Vulture summarizing the untitled project. At the time the sex scandals began to break, it was still unclear whether the Clash project was to be live action or a mix of both live action and animation, but what was certain was that the Clash project would “incorporate puppets,” per the document.
Warner Bros. is the first major Hollywood entity to distance itself from Clash, and one insider told Vulture that it's likely others will follow suit. “After all that stuff happened, the studio was like, ‘We’re never going to mention this again,’” said the insider.