If you thought an icky sex scandal would damage the selling power of all those furry, red, loveable Elmo toys this holiday shopping season, you underestimated the selling power of Sesame Street's all-time best-seller.
Maybe you didn't hear, but Elmo's had a rough couple of weeks. Kevin Clash, the man behind Elmo, was accused of sleeping with a 16-year-old last week. Everyone was sad and confused. How could you do this, Elmo? We learned to love you in that one movie. But then accuser walked back his story. We were allowed to have warm, safe feelings about Elmo again! Hooray! But then the accuser walked back his walking back of his accusation, and there was another accusation from a another person and Clash resigned from Sesame Street for the foreseeable future.
However: Hasbro recognized that Elmo is still going to be popular with the kids, so they're standing by the most famous non-amphibious Muppet. "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," Hasbro's spokespeople said. Basically, the Elmo persona and brand are more powerful than any sexual-assault accusations. Kids don't even read the news. And holiday shopping prognosticators are guessing Elmo sales will stay up, too. "The problem is, Elmo had a grown-up problem in a children's world," George Cook, a business professor, told the L.A. Times. "I think the impact will be very minimal and Elmo the toy will survive another year."
- Sesame Street