Talk:Kevin Clash

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Good article Kevin Clash has been listed as one of the Media and drama good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
March 18, 2013 Good article nominee Listed

Captain Kangaroo[edit]

A photo in this entry shows and is captioned as him with a puppet from Captain Kangaroo. Yet there is no mention at all in the article about any involvement with that show. If he was involved somehow, it certainly should be mentioned. If not, then the photo is misleading (and confusing, why would he pose with a puppet he had nothing to do with?). Can anyone out there clarify this and update the article? Russeasby 04:30, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

He was involved with Captain Kangaroo for a few years at the same time as Great Space Coaster Timekeeper 18:56, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Should his work on Dog City also be noted? He was the voice/operator of the Eliot Shag puppet, I believe. --The_Iconoclast (talk) 16:17, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Sure, if you can find a reliable source for it. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 17:33, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Kevin Clash in The News American.jpg[edit]

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Image:Kevin Clash in The News American.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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Fair use rationale for Image:Kevinclashelmo.jpg[edit]

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Image:Kevinclashelmo.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

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BetacommandBot (talk) 14:29, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:KC-GreatSpaceCoaster.jpg[edit]

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Image:KC-GreatSpaceCoaster.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 18:03, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Wondering why he is described as "African American" and not simply "American." Biographies of white actors are described as American, not "European American". Why is it necessary to add "African"?


I hate to quote tmz & but so why did someone remove the lgbt category? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Paranoid Android1208 (talkcontribs) 18:11, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

See WP:BLPCAT: "Category names do not carry disclaimers or modifiers, so the case for each content category must be made clear by the article text and its reliable sources. Categories regarding religious beliefs or sexual orientation should not be used unless the subject has publicly self-identified with the belief or orientation in question, and the subject's beliefs or sexual orientation are relevant to their public life or notability, according to reliable published sources". AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:15, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
And see also the discussion at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#Kevin Clash. If allegations of improper behaviour are "unsubstantiated", it is highly questionable as to whether they should be included at all. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:27, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
It's also worth noting that we don't categorize people as LGBT on the basis of allegations of a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex — we do so only when a person has publicly stated in their own words that they identify themselves as being LGBT. For the purposes of that category tree, we care about a person's social and cultural and political identity as a member of the LGBT community, and not about what sexual acts do or don't get their naughty bits excited. Which means that even if allegations about a person's sex life turn out to be true, we still don't categorize them as being LGBT until they've spoken publicly about identifying themselves as LGBT.
We care about the identity, not the raw physiological response — because even if a guy does have a sexual relationship with another guy, we can't actually prove with any degree of verifiability that he wasn't laying back and fantasizing about Kim Kardashian the whole time. Even guys who consider themselves straight have been known to "experiment" on occasion, and it's not our place to make pronouncements about whether such a guy is deluding himself or not — because what we care about is the presence or absence of a cultural identification with the LGBT community. So no matter what you can or can't prove about who he's actually having sex with, he can't be categorized as LGBT until you can actually add a source which verifiably documents that he verbally identifies himself as a member of the gay community. Bearcat (talk) 19:32, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Yup. And we don't categorise people as LGBT unless their sexual orientation is "relevant to their public life or notability, according to reliable published sources" either. There is nothing whatsoever inherently notable in being gay or bisexual and an actor... AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:36, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, technically speaking, all that's necessary to make it "relevant to their public life or notability" is the act of speaking about it on the record. The textbook example here is Anderson Cooper — although he was already openly gay in his personal life, for a long time he just didn't explicitly address that in a public statement. The fact that he's gay wasn't relevant or notable at that time, even though plenty of people already knew — but it became relevant and notable once he actually spoke about it on the public record.
The distinction here is because there are a lot more shades of grey for LGBT public figures now than there were 10 or 20 years ago. Where it once was the case that people were either closeted or out with not a hell of a lot in between, nowadays you see a lot of people who are out in their personal lives and don't make any special effort to hide it in their public ones, but still can't really be categorized as gay until they explicitly make a statement that officially puts it on the record. A lot of people knew about Anderson Cooper long before he made it official — same for Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, etc. — but because the facts weren't explicitly verifiable in reliable sources, we still couldn't categorize them as being gay until they actually made their official public "coming out" statements. And there's a similar problem with Nate Silver right now, too — in that while there are numerous sources out there in which a third party describes him as "openly gay", nobody's yet been able to find one in which he describes himself that way. Occam's razor certainly suggests that the sources are correct, for numerous reasons (he would have objected to being described that way if he weren't, he wouldn't have let himself be photographed and interviewed for Out magazine's "100 influential gay people" list if he weren't, etc.) — but until we can actually verify that the sources are definitely correct rather than just probably, we still have to err on the side of caution no matter how ridiculous that may seem. Bearcat (talk) 20:01, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
He has now self-identified as gay. [1] Rob T Firefly (talk) 19:56, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Given that statement, I now think there probably is a way that the issue can be addressed in this article without overstepping WP:BLP, since we now have both sides of the story. What I'd caution is that we shouldn't rush things or sensationalize the matter. For the time being, I'm going to temporarily editprotect the article against anonymous IP edits, so that established editors who are more familiar with Wikipedia policy can work it out fairly and objectively. Bearcat (talk) 20:11, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Can anyone demonstrate that Clash's sexual orientation is "relevant to [his] public life or notability, according to reliable published sources"? He's not notable for being gay... AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:31, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I think it's reasonable to say that he NOW is! MfG Paranoid Android1208 (talk) 20:51, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
loosing your job because you come out as gay is certainly relevant to his public life. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 20:42, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
He isn't fired (yet)...and if he is, it's because of the age difference (not legal, no matter what the gender of the accuser is)...not his sexuality Paranoid Android1208 (talk) 20:56, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
The fact of having made a public statement to the media confirming that he identifies as gay is, in and of itself, sufficient to demonstrate notability. As I already explained above, once a person has confirmed their sexuality on the public record, we don't require any complex justifications beyond that. Bearcat (talk) 22:11, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

"I am a gay man. I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter. I had a relationship with the accuser. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was. I am taking a break from Sesame Workshop to deal with this false and defamatory allegation." - Kevin Clash's Statement to CNN (added to CNN's Blog at 18:55, 12 November 2012 (UTC) [User: CoasterGhost|CoasterGhost]] (talk) - Section added at 20:37, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

also at ABC [2]. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 20:42, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Jesus! I'm glad it's the internet... because you my friends have wasted a lot of ink..and your own time o_O
BTW things like this really are a real pain in the *** for everyone involved and are the main reason why wp has some problems in terms of, thanks a lot! -.- Paranoid Android1208 (talk) 20:41, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

I think that you're under the mistaken impression that Wikipedia is under a deadline and that articles need to have the most up to date information in them as fast as possible. This isn't a newspaper; it's an encyclopedia. More importantly, there are some serious WP:BLP concerns here, so calm down, and have some tea. Jauerbackdude?/dude. 21:06, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Jauerback is correct. In a case like this, it's much more important that Wikipedia get it right than it is that we get it fast. Bearcat (talk) 22:11, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Apart from there beeing no indication of my supposed obsession with a deadline (who makes notes to make a Kevin Clash edit in a week from now?) I was just pointing the Korinthenkackerei (btw: the english article is no translation of the term), which is detrimental to the project itself...expecting that some are at least sometimes loose in their skin when it comes to application of wp-rules, is not in itself a crazy thing to do (btw: wp is ALSO no court of please don't take IT too seriously) Paranoid Android1208 (talk) 22:23, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, you complained that people weren't jumping on the allegations fast enough for your liking. You may not have used the specific word "deadline", but the substance of what you were saying was essentially that we had to get it into the article right away without regard to the sensitivity of the matter. Bearcat (talk) 23:25, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

It's funny how these BLP concerns and protection issues don't come up when it's, say, a Christian minister or Republican politician who is being accuse of things like this... JayHubie (talk) 22:56, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Actually they do. Would you like to know how many times people tried to add Category:LGBT people from the United States to both Ted Haggard and Larry Craig, to name just two examples, even while both were still publicly denying those allegations? And, just for the record, to this day both of those men are still not actually categorized as being LGBT. That proves my earlier point yet again — no matter what they may have done behaviourally in their specific scandal incidents, they still haven't publicly claimed any identification with the LGBT community, and thus we can't categorize them as such no matter what we may think their behaviour implies. Bearcat (talk) 23:01, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

So, the accuser recanted his story the very next day. Now do y'all get why we need to be careful with stuff like this? Bearcat (talk) 23:43, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

So is his child biologically his?[edit]

He said he's gay but he's got children. What is someone who has had sex with a woman to the point of having a child, but claims to have been in a gay sexual relationship called? Is he bisexual? Is the child biologically his? — Preceding unsigned comment added by AnElaborateLie (talkcontribs) 20:19, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

He was married before. However, why does it matter? Jauerbackdude?/dude. 00:43, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
It's information that could be added to the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by AnElaborateLie (talkcontribs) 15:01, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
Again, why does it matter? It has no relevance to his career, which is what merits his inclusion in Wikipedia. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:07, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
I think you are splitting a wiki hair that doesn't exist. Once the subject is notable, all aspects of that subject are notable. If he has a kid, and that can be reliably sourced, then that should be included in his personal life section. (Obviously identity of the child and other informatino regarding the child may be excluded under both BLP and our child protection policies) Gaijin42 (talk) 17:33, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
Of relevance, a certain search engine puts Mr. Clash's daughter name up in 48 size font when you search "Kevin Clash daughter". Clash has also talked to NYC Dads about being a father, and she's appeared on a Being Elmo red carpet with him. That said, her tweets are protected, so it's evident that she's trying to lead as private of a life as she can, as the daughter of a actor/producer/director/author/documentary subject. -- Zanimum (talk) 17:43, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
On a related but separate note, she's not a minor, she's an adult. Whatever other concerns there might be, I'm not sure child protection policies even apply. Just stating so we're all on the same page. --Tenebrae (talk) 19:08, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── yeah, I noticed that as well, that the NYT is describing her as an adult. Per the muppet wiki (obviously not an RS for our purpose), she was born in 1993 which would make her 19 now. Gaijin42 (talk) 19:12, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

There are, for the record, plenty of gay people who spent some time "in the closet", even going so far as to marry someone of the opposite sex and parent children, before coming out as gay. That doesn't necessarily imply that someone is actually bisexual, because you have no way of knowing that they weren't actually fantasizing about a same-sex partner the whole time. Sexual orientation is a function of how the person labels their identity, which is not necessarily the same as their public record of sexual behaviour.

As for the relevance, it's acceptable for our article to mention that he was previously married to a woman and has a daughter, as long as that information is properly sourced. However, under our policy around privacy of names, we most likely shouldn't name the ex-wife or daughter here; since they're not public figures and their names aren't particularly important to the story, it would just be an unnecessary invasion of their privacy without actually adding anything of value to the article. Bearcat (talk) 17:43, 25 November 2012 (UTC)


What's gonna happen to Elmo if Kevin is leaving the show forever?! -- (talk) 20:50, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

this is not a WP:FORUM . However Clash's understudies will take over the role. Gaijin42 (talk) 21:05, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

source for early life[edit]

clash talks about his early life here NPR Fresh Air -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 22:12, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

"Allegations and resignation" section[edit]

I've wanted to chime in on this horrible and heartbreaking situation, but haven't been due to holiday travels. This article definitely needs some work, but before that happens, I think that there needs to be some discussion about how to handle including the allegations and Clash's resignation here. I don't think the current version is appropriate, for some of the reasons discussed in a previous section on this talk page. This story is probably by no means over, so please remember that Wikipedia does not have a deadline. Neither is it a newspaper, so including a long section detailing, almost word-for-word, the content of a few news articles, some of which aren't reliable, is inappropriate. Therefore, I suggest removing the section and placing a new subsection in "Career" entitled "Resignation from Sesame Workshop". I also suggest this simple addition, with the appropriate sourcing: "In late November 2012, Clash resigned from Sesame Workshop amidst allegations that he had sexual relationships with two men while they were still minors. Clash came out as gay, but denied the accusations". We can rework that, but you get the general idea of how I think we should address it. Discuss, please. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 19:40, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

I think the current version is more fair to Clash. Gigs (talk) 02:21, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I think the detail is needed. The double recant, and 5 mil suit are needed info for the reader to judge what is going on. They allegations have been directly addressed by Clash as well as Sesame, and lawyers etc. We are not working off of rumor. Gaijin42 (talk) 03:06, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
I think the article is fair to him, but I have thought about the issue of so much of the article being dedicated to the scandal. Before I added a paragraph about his childhood, literally half the article was dedicated to recounting the events of the last week. Everybody loves a juicy story, but it would be nice if we could streamline the section about the allegations and subsequent resignation while expanding other sections regarding his 30+ year career prior to it. --- Crakkerjakk (talk) 10:26, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
its a typical problem with wikipedia, scandal and people who desire to "cover it now" overwhelm a considered approach that places the scandal in an appropriate context. over time as the news moves on to its next victim and the dust settles, article can generally be brought back into the proper perspective. (plus thank you for your expansion!) -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 13:46, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
It looks like there's consensus here, so I'll go ahead and make the changes as proposed. In the coming week or so, it's my intention to improve and expand this article to better reflect the sources and to make it more balanced. In addition to Clash's book and documentary, there are scores of news articles written about him. I'll also use some of the same sources I've used in improving other Sesame Street articles: the Michael Davis book, the 40-year Celebration book, G is for Growing. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 17:10, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── you are incorrect. If there is a consensus shown in this discussion, it is that the current level of information is prefered. reverting. Gaijin42 (talk) 19:54, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

You are correct that more content needs to be added regarding Clash's earlier work/life. However, the lack of content in that area does not mean that full coverage of another (this) area is WP:UNDUE. Unfortunately for Mr Clash, this incident is likely to dominate the rest of his career/reputation. The section as is includes direct quotes from clash, as well as sesame, and the additional detail is actually beneficial to Clash, as it casts some doubt as to the honesty/motive of his accusers. Gaijin42 (talk) 20:00, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

we dont base our article on our personal projections of what may happen in the future. It is clear however, that right now the microscopic focus on every trivial detail is excessive. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 20:59, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

He resigned over it, its not crystal to say this is a very notable event in his life. In any case, I have made some trims/summarizations. Let me know what you think. Gaijin42 (talk) 21:11, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

"this incident is likely to dominate the rest of his career/reputation" is taking an entirely WP:CRYSTALball approach. and obviously there are allegations that ended up costing him his job, but right now thats all they are is allegations. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 21:18, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
The allegations are allegations. His resignation, his statements, statements by the workshop regarding their investigation, and regarding his resignation are not allegations, and that content is the majority of the section. Gaijin42 (talk) 22:57, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
I'll say it again: Wikipedia is not a newspaper. This is not the place to recreate everything ever written about the subject of a BLP. I disagree with you, Gaijin42; I think that full coverage of it does fall within the WP:UNDUE policy. Even if the article was comprehensive (and after I'm done with it, it will be), full coverage of this one event would be undue. I also agree with TRPoD's statements about WP:CRYSTAL. Gaijin, my reading of this discussion is that you're the only one here supporting full coverage of the scandal, so I stand by my assertion that consensus supports my changes, which you reverted. Hopefully, we can come to some decision, and soon, because the current version is potentially harmful. I also hope that we can agree without resorting to DRN. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 04:21, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
You missed the first reply to your OP, as well as cracker's comment that the current version is more fair to Clash. Its been significantly trimmed today. If you want to take it back to your one line version, DRN it will be, but I am more than willing to work with everyone on more surgical changes. This incident is easily covered by WP:WELLKNOWN. We list the accusation (in really brief terms), and then the statements from Clash and his employer. this is not WP:UNDUE. Gaijin42 (talk) 04:59, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
To be honest, I dismissed Gigs' comment because he hadn't seen my version. Cracker said that he thought that this article was "fair", but took issue with its UNDUE. I like the trimmed down version better, but I still think that it's UNDUE. See my comments below. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 06:23, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Specific content discussions[edit]

Here are a few parts I would be ok with trimming

  • (outdated info?) Sesame Workshop had initially been presented with the allegation in June, and its investigation found the allegation to be unsubstantiated however, Clash was disciplined for violating company policy around Internet usage in the workplace
  • (outdated) leave of absence -
  • additional detail about accusers (criminal record) - but this is somewhat exculpatory towards clash as it may hint at reliability/motive?
  • $ amounts - but again shows possible motive, so valuable?
  • Dates - probably not important to have everything broken out by date?
  • shorter quote from Sesame (the second to last sentence seems to be the most important?)

Gaijin42 (talk) 05:06, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

I support the above trims. If we made them, this is what this section would look like:

In late 2012, Clash resigned from Sesame Workshop amidst allegations that he had sexual relationships with two men while they were still minors. Sesame Workshop had initially been presented with the first allegation earlier in the year, and its investigation found the allegation to be unsubstantiated; however, Clash was disciplined for violating company policy around Internet usage in the workplace and he settled with his accuser out of court. Clash denied the allegations, but came out as gay. After the second accusation, Clash resigned, issuing the following statement: "Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately." Sesame Workshop also issued a statement saying, "This is a sad day for Sesame Street". Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 06:23, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

I made trims, but not quite as terse as what you have there. We have 1 short paragraph introducing the overall issue, one paragraph with the back and forth and second accuser, and then the two quotes. The sesame quote is much shorter, and could probably be cut all together - but I can see value in that its characterizing the issue as a distraction, and not as sesame accepting the truth of the allegations.
So does that mean that we're going to cover all the details of every lurid accusation as they come out? Let wikinews do that, please. I will state again: Wikipedia is not a newspaper. At this point, I'm leaning towards my original idea: short, without the details, until the story's over. IOW, all we really need to state is that there were accusations made against Clash and that he resigned over them. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 17:12, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
I almost see a BLP argument to KEEP the detail. If we say there were multiple accusations, and he resigned - that looks pretty guilty for Clash. The extra detail mitigates the accusation somewhat, and makes there room for these are just untrustworthy fame/money seekers (although they could be fame/money seekers who are being honest about what happened). I dont think we need every twist and turn, but we do need the basic details of what the allegations are and who the players are. Gaijin42 (talk) 17:22, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

comment from the peanut gallery - this looks much better and seems to be boiling down to the essentials much more quickly than I had thought would be possible. Congrats and keep up the good work! -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 19:13, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

The trim looks good. I agree we need to provide some context for the recent events. We're not a newspaper, but it's also not our job to ignore the elephant in the room when every news source is covering it (note the spike in traffic to this page since the story broke). I didn't think we needed quite as much detail and/or pull-quotes as we had, but it looks pretty straight-forward now. As time goes by (and the story has played out), some details may be tightened up further (the recant, the recant of the recant, etc, may be miniscule pieces of the overall story a year or two down the line), but as of now, a lot of people are coming to this page specifically to get the story straight. We don't need to give them every unsubstantiated detail, but (since the story has had a quite few twists in just the last week) we need to summarize what's happening for readers who may have only heard bits and pieces here and there, in order to avoid confusing them further. What's here now has been widely reported and I think the article is clear in emphasizing these are simply allegations. --- Crakkerjakk (talk) 19:55, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Thoughts on removing the UNDUE tag? Gaijin42 (talk) 23:14, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm sure you can guess my thoughts, by now: it should remain, at least until the article is more balanced and comprehensive. Which I'm working on, by the way. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 19:30, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Just a note for you, Christine. You said you were working on expanding other sections of the article, so I just wanted to drop a note to let you know that the Archive of American Television has a lengthy interview with Clash (click the "Interview" tab on that page and the full four-part interview will come up). I haven't watched it, but I've seen other interviews they've done and they're usually great at conducting the type of detailed interview (childhood, early career milestones, etc) that are great for a Wikipedia bio, but that most other interviewers never get around to asking. ;-) --- Crakkerjakk (talk) 21:21, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Crak. Yah, I was aware of the Archive interview and am using it in the expansion. You're right, it's a great resource for writing BLPs. The interviews there are very extensive, unedited, and full of lots of detail that often gets lost in other interviews. I used it for Joan Ganz Cooney as well. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 04:11, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
I'd personally only ask that you include timestamps in any video-interview footnotes. Theres a "cite video" template that has a field for that, which produces the timestamp "Event at [such-and-such a time]". --Tenebrae (talk) 00:21, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that interviews that provide timestamps for when they were conducted are extremely rare. The Archive of American Television interviews are all dated, but they don't provide the exact time of day that they happened, nor does any other interview I've ever seen (unless it's broadcast live, in which case one can simply look at a clock while the interview is happening). The "time" field is provided as an option but it's hardly one that I would consider required to establish verifiability. --- Crakkerjakk (talk) 08:23, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Nevermind everything I just said. I originally thought you meant a timestamp for when the interview was conducted, but it just dawned on me that you're talking about a timestamp for the specific spot in the interview that substantiates the claim being cited. That will probably mean there will be multiple references citing the same interview on this page, but for a longer interview like the AoAT one, the request makes sense. --- Crakkerjakk (talk) 09:04, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Not a problem. Glad things got cleared up. I'll do as Tenebrae suggests; it's a good idea anyway. I'm also using the "Being Elmo" documentary in my draft as well; I'll include timestamps for it as well. I've moved away from using citation templates in most of the articles I write/improve (mostly because they're bulky, complicated, and aren't standardized), but for this article, I'm using them and inline citations because it looks like this article will have lots of hands and eyes involved with it, and it's the most often-used citation method used on WP. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 17:20, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Per WP:ELNO, the external links section of an article is not meant to become a comprehensive directory of every link you can find on the internet which pertains to the topic at all; rather, it's only for a small number (three at most, but preferably no more than two) of the most directly relevant links, such as their own personal website or their profile on a database such as IMDb. Accordingly, I'm removing the following links from the external links section here. They may be readded to the article as references for article content, but aren't really useful in the external links section.

- Bearcat (talk) 18:04, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

[fixed cite. -Wikid77 23:46, 24 September 2013 (UTC)]
As well, just a reminder to everybody, as I've had to do considerable repair work on this: a bare URL is not an acceptable reference in a Wikipedia article. Rather, you must provide complete citation details, including the title of the article, the name of the newspaper or website it was published in and the publication date. The problem is that websites sometimes go dark or change their URL format, in which case a bare URL becomes a dead reference since it no longer links to the article — whereas if we have the proper citation information, then even if the URL dies we still have a legitimate reference. Bearcat (talk) 18:13, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
A bare URL is an acceptable reference in a Wikipedia article, just not a preferred one. Providing all of the details is preferred, but it's not required by any means. - SudoGhost 03:52, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Bearcat, keep in mind that we were all new editors once. Many new editors are editing in good faith, but they get reverted for not citing a source, so they come back and provide a source. They aren't necessarily familiar with all the "Cite" templates (or the complicated syntaxt required to understand them), so they just paste in a bare URL. I realize this creates tedious cleanup for those of us who are more experienced editors, but a user comes to a page, sees something is incorrect (or missing) and tries to help. I'd suggest providing a link to the Cite web Template on an article's talk page when you find a problem would probably be more helpful than simply reprimanding users. Likewise, with "External links" sections. I've noticed that many editors will simply tack references into the "External links" section of articles because that's the easiest thing they know how to do. I'd personally rather they do that, so that future editors can come along and use them to source the article, rather than leaving it a "stub" in perpetuity. While I agree that far too many links get tacked into the "External links" sections of articles, I'm not aware of a limit for how many there should be and often there are more than two that are useful. For example: The Archive of American Television interviews are invaluable and, more often than not, are far more useful to someone researching a subject than a link to their website or IMDb. In fact, I'm tempted to add it back to the "External links" right now, but I'll wait and see if anyone else has an opinion before I do. --- Crakkerjakk (talk) 10:01, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
given the current high visibility of the subject, i understand bearcats wish to have the article as presentable as we can. while there is still a lot of news popping up, we could post a hidden message in the external links section asking editors not to leave a link there, but have them place it here on the talk page with a note about what content it has so that the community can incorporate it into the article.-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 13:42, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

3rd accuser/book[edit]

Not ready for the article yet, but looks like more to come :( Gaijin42 (talk) 15:25, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Which demonstrates the need for us to wait until this story is over, and not to rush to judgment about every news story that comes out about the scandal. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 17:21, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
It's unclear what these lawsuits allege in terms of damages. Voluntarily using a gay meetup phone chat line and then voluntarily engaging in sexual acts doesn't seem like a civil cause of action to me. We need to wait until there are much more in depth sources available to give these lawsuits context. Gigs (talk) 18:38, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
If they were underage at the time, then they (legally) lacked the capacity to give consent. #2 is claiming emotial harm from being unprepared to deal with the ramifications of a 16 year old having a relationship with a 30 year old, and that he only recently realized this (after the first allegation). This does seem like a very weak argument to me, and I think the suits are unlikely to go anywhere (except possibly settled via hush money), but that doesn't fix things for Clash if the allegations are true (regardless of the motivations for them coming forward). fortunately for clash I think he will be immune from any potential criminal issues, as the statute of limitations for lesser offenses (I think its unlikely voluntary acts would be counted as 1st degree) is 5 years after turning 18, which I believe has passed for all the accusers thus far. Gaijin42 (talk) 18:54, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
This discussion makes me uncomfortable on so many levels, but mostly because it seems like it's moving into WP:FORUM territory. I remind you all that this isn't the place to speculate about possible ramifications and what legal consequences may or may not occur. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 20:02, 27 November 2012 (UTC)


As promised/threatened, I have completed re-writing this article. It wasn't the most fun I've ever had in editing Wikipedia. Well, that's not true: I still need to improve the lead, which I will do tomorrow. I believe that it's more balanced and that its content no longer stresses the allegations against Clash and his resignation. I feel, however, that I need to explain some edits, especially regarding the newly-named "Resignation from Sesame Workshop" subsection.

  • I used three main sources in improving this article: Clash's autobiography, his interview with the Archive of American Television, and Being Elmo. You may think that the article is too top-heavy in its use of these sources, but they really are the best main sources regarding the subject. On another editor's suggestion, I included "Event occurs at...", so it looks like I'm using more sources that I really do. It seemed the best way to handle sourcing the interview and documentary.
  • In order to make the "Career" section more comprehensive, I used Muppet Wiki as a source. I understand that wikis aren't the most reliable sources, but in this instance, I weighed comprehensiveness more heavily than reliability. I believe that doing so shows good judgment, and it's not like this article will ever be a featured article, anyway. (Perhaps a GA, though, and GAC tends to be more lenient with sourcing if it's necessary.)
  • I removed the parts that weren't sourced, mostly in the "Career" section and replaced it with better-sourced information. I think it's a much-improved article as a result.
  • I renamed the section discussing the allegations and resignation to "Resignation from Sesame Workshop" and moved it to the "Career" section. I think it's a better title and less lurid. I also streamlined the sources, including the ones that seemed to summarize the events and removing sources like TMZ that aren't reliable. I know that I stated above that we need to be less strict about sources, but I think that for this section we need to be as strict as we can.
  • I removed the undue weight tag, because I believe the current version of this article no longer weighs more heavily about Clash's resignation.

I hope that my edits and changes satisfies all, and I can go on to other things now. Discuss please, as always. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 00:50, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

4th accuser[edit]

No major new revelations, just 4th accuser. Includes claim of transport across state lines of a minor, which would carry some heavier penalty

also looks like a movie project Clash was involved with was canned

Gaijin42 (talk) 20:51, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

He is now being accused of breaking federal laws (transporting a minor across state lines for sex). If this goes to trial the article will have to be expanded and protected like Sanduskys. When a thing goes to fed court, we are no longer in tabloid/gossip territory but pending federal criminal charges territory. (If it was just the stupid tabloid trash, I'd say ignore it.)--Bellerophon5685 (talk) 23:48, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Which is why I worked so hard to improve this article, because it's sure to have more traffic as we go along. I recommend not adding anything new until a little time passes, but I doubt that my advice will be followed. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 00:28, 11 December 2012 (UTC)


If Clash cannot be described as African-American in the lead of the article, he should not be categorized as such. If he is categorized as such, he should be so described in the lead of the article.John Pack Lambert (talk) 01:21, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Its well sourced, so the cat is definitely. however, everything categorized does not need to be in the lead. It makes sense to have it I think, but on the other hand I think that making race the very first fact mentioned about him (or any person) is counterproductive and would tend to increase rather than decrease racial separation. Additionally, .his notability is not particularly derived from his blackness. He is not performing for a primarily black audience, nor using a traditionally black medium or style. Shrug. WP:COMMONOUTCOME would probably lead to it being included though. Could we put it somewhere slightly later in the lead?Gaijin42 (talk) 01:29, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
There is no reason whatsoever to put this in the lede. His ethnicity isn't remotely connected to his notability. I'm fairly sure there is a guideline regarding this somewhere, but I'd have though it was obvious that we don't dump such things into the first sentence. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:34, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Given this edit [3], can I suggest that rather than having this escalate further, JPL asks for guidance at WP:BLPN. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:43, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
I think he needs to step away from his computer for a bit. BTW, the relevant guideline is found in WP:OPENPARAGRAPH. Jauerbackdude?/dude. 01:46, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Yup - just found the same thing: "Ethnicity or sexuality should not generally be emphasized in the opening unless it is relevant to the subject's notability". Seems clear enough to me. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:48, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Where in the article does it say that Clash is African-Amercan? I do not see it. If it is worth categorizing it should be mentioned in the lead. If his notability is not at all conditioned on his beijng African-American than he should not be categorized as suc.John Pack Lambert (talk) 01:53, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

While I'd agree with you that people shouldn't be categorised by ethnicity unless it is relevant to their notability, Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality#Ethnicity and race currently makes no such distinction. You appear to be right though: the categorisation is apparently unsourced. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:57, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

The following interview is sufficient for sourcing the category imo Gaijin42 (talk) 02:34, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Er, the source doesn't actually describe him as 'African-American' - it describes him as 'Black'. More to the point though, do you really think that a paragraph consisting solely of "Clash is African-American" is remotely encyclopaedic? AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:48, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
absolutely not. I said it was sufficient for the categorization. I said nothing about that paragraph. Howeve,r I do think somethign could be included per that source based regarding his portrayal of elmo. Here are some additional sources I think that could be used for something relevant.
It could also probably used to source a contextually appropriate statement indicating Clash's race, since he talks about how race did or did not affect his portrayal of Elmo, which would be an interesting addition to that section imo Gaijin42 (talk) 02:46, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Please do not confuse 'race' with ethnicity. AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:49, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
PC BS. Gaijin42 (talk) 02:58, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
If you don't understand the difference, that is your problem. Wikipedia doesn't categorise living people by 'race' at all. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:46, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
  • All I know is that until somewhere in the article it says that Clash is African-American, he should not be categorzed as such. I would hope people would enforce that, but I have my doubts.John Pack Lambert (talk) 03:03, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Um, yes, I think we can take it as read that unsourced categories in BLPs are a no-no. Except that we don't have to, given WP:BLP policy, which insists on sources... AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:46, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
This has not kept people from attacking me and calling me a "vandal" for insisting on such.John Pack Lambert (talk) 05:16, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Um, no - or at least, not as far as I'm aware. I reverted your addition of 'African-American' in the lede. If it wasn't sourced, why did you add it? AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:24, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

I have added (what I believe is) a contextually appropriate addition to Clash's race/ethnicity and removed the standalone addition from the other editor. I will shortly re-add the category. Gaijin42 (talk) 15:42, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Just a bit of clarification here, because there seems to be some confusion about what Wikipedia actually expects in cases like this: it is not, in fact, necessary for a person's notability to be conditional on their identification with a racial or sexual minority group to merit categorization as such. That is, you do not have to make a case that Clash is notable specifically because he's an African-American and/or a gay puppeteer, but somehow wouldn't be notable if he were a straight white man who had still made a career out of playing Elmo on Sesame Street. The minority identity needs to be relevant and verifiable; it does not need to be a basic precondition of what made them notable in the first place.

His sexual orientation became notable and relevant as soon as he issued a public statement confirming that he identifies as gay; had he not done so, it would not have been notable or relevant (or, even more importantly, verifiable) no matter how many guys were coming forward with allegations about his sexual behaviour. However, it is not a requirement that he be notable specifically because he's gay to warrant description and categorization as such; he merely needs to be both notable and gay. Similarly, he does not have to be notable specifically because he's African-American to warrant description and categorization as such; he merely needs to be both notable and African-American. If he's a notable public figure who is a member of a particular ethnocultural group and/or a particular sexual identity, then all we require is that the statement of his identity is verifiable — we do not require proof that his membership in the identity group in question was necessarily the thing that made him notable enough for an article.

It is, for the record, true that such statements need to be properly sourced and verifiable. Strictly speaking, that does seem like a silly expectation in the matter of his being African-American, since one can quite clearly see that he is African-American just by looking at him. But the gay issue illustrates the point much more coherently, since sexual orientation is not typically an identity that can be discerned just by a person's physical appearance. In both cases, however, legitimate sources are out there for the statements, so it's just a matter of making sure that we cite them — however, it is not necessary to find sources which demonstrate that he's notable because he's gay or African-American. If he's notable, and the facts that he's gay and African-American are properly verifiable, then that's all that's required to support describing and categorizing him as being gay and African-American.

Accordingly, it's also not necessary that the description be present right in the article's lede to render the categorization valid. In actual fact, it's almost never necessary for a person's ethnic and/or sexual identities to be noted right in the article's introduction, because they're rarely if ever the most salient facts about a person's basic claim of notability — as long as the identity can be and is noted and sourced somewhere in the article, that's more than sufficient for our needs. Bearcat (talk) 17:44, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Ugh, I so did not want to weigh in on this, but I guess I will anyway. There are sources that emphasize Clash's race/ethnicity. In Being Elmo, he talks about how Kermit Love introduced him to Jim Henson; Love tells Clash that Henson didn't have any Black puppeteers and pushed Clash towards Henson because of it. There are also points in both the documentary and the Archive interview where Clash talks about how surprised people are when they find out that a big Black man performs Elmo. He also talks in the documentary how proud he is of breaking the race barrier in the world of puppetry. I'm sure we can find other sources that talk about how surprised people are when they find out that Clash is African-American. Now would all that satisfy the notability requirement? If so, we should add it. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 18:19, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
That would certainly be excellent content to add to the article, and would quite nicely resolve any outstanding debate about how best to address his African-Americanness in the article. But strictly speaking, content that's specifically about his breaking the racial barrier in puppeteering, while certainly a good idea, is over and above the basic requirement — strictly, all we require to justify describing and categorizing him as African-American is a source which verifies the simple fact that he is African-American. Anything beyond that is gravy. Bearcat (talk) 18:42, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
I added some content in that vein already, but that could be a great addition as well. From this point, I think both category and "fact" are both adequatly sourced and included, but additional detail or topics can be added as needed and appropriate. I mostly agree with bear's post above. I personally think Simple/One-topic categories are just for sorting IMO, and if "true", and verifiable should always be applicable, regardless how how important it is to the subject. Part of this discussion was also though if he should be described as such in the text, and if so where, which certainly does have much more dependency on how notable that topic/issue is in regards to the subject (and in the current version is dealt with appropriately imo). Also as a member of two categories (Gay, and African American) , there does seem to be a larger debate on if categorization requires the notability to be derived from the intersection of the two categories. (I recall a rather involved debate on this topic for LGBT Jews, but I cannot seem to find it at the moment) Also see , Wikipedia:OC#EGRS which may have some impact (And would indicate we should remove the current African Americans in media category) Gaijin42 (talk) 19:04, 13 December 2012 (UTC) Gaijin42 (talk) 19:04, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
  • You can not see that someone is African-American by looking at them. We categorize by ethnicity, not by race. Someone can "look" African-American, but refuse the identification. Also, to be African-American, one must be American, and you cannot tell someone is American "just by looking at them", as the existence of Black British people among many others proves.John Pack Lambert (talk) 19:13, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
while I understand your point in the context of the larger wiki-issue, its almost non-sensical when it comes to african americanness in 99% of the instances to which it is applied. When the millions of people are referred to as african-american by reliable sources, do you really think the writers and editors of those publicans are taking into account the larger socio-ethnographic though patterns of art, music, culture which they likely know NOTHING about either in general, or as applied to the subject, or just calling the subject African American, because that is the currently PC word for "Black". By your logic, nobody in the 1960s and before could be categorized or described as african-american, because every reliable source would have referred to them as colored, negro, or African as the word "African-American" did not exist yet. There is a very small subset of people who are African-American and not Black. The reverse is obviously much more common, even within the US as 1st generation immigrants and such do not generally use that label - but i pretty much guarantee we are sorting them that way alraedy anyway.Gaijin42 (talk) 19:29, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
When an obviously Black person is already being categorized in "American" rather than "British" occupational groupings, and has his birthplace noted and sourced as Baltimore and his current residence noted and sourced as New York City, it doesn't require a massive leap of logic and doesn't violate WP:NOR to assume that they're probably not "Black British" instead of "African-American". And I'm pretty sure that we don't maintain a separate category tree for "Black Americans", based solely on people's personal preference for that label rather than "African-American", but rather we use the currently-accepted standard term regardless of whether the individual might personally choose to label themselves differently. Though feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about that. Bearcat (talk) 20:14, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep in African-American category: It is well-sourced that Clash is African-American. The mention need not be in the lead, it only need to be in a reference somewhere pbp 19:20, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
    • No one had suggested we remove Clash from any African-American category. We were discussing the merits of the issue. We were not voting on anything.John Pack Lambert (talk) 19:22, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
      • You opening comment was, "If Clash cannot be described as African-American in the lead of the article, he should not be categorized as such". That appears to be advocating his removal from the African-American category, if I'm not mistaken pbp 19:23, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
        • It seems to me you are trying to make this more controversial than it is. We had moved beyond the disucssion of that specific issue beofe you came along. You are holding people to statements that they have not supported in later statements, and ignoring the overall trend of the discussion.John Pack Lambert (talk) 19:34, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't think hes completely off base. The point is moot now as the text does include refs, but several people above argued that the category should not be used unless the text also did. However As an interesting comparison Neil_deGrasse_Tyson for example is categorized in several African American categories, but the text never identifies him as such (Except for the listing of an award, which includes "African-American" in the award name. Gaijin42 (talk) 19:37, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
The text should indicate such before he is categorized as such. This is especially true for biographies of living people.John Pack Lambert (talk) 19:55, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
  • I think my initial statement was needlessly rash, and have struck it. I personally think that this discussion had moved to a much more friendly basis of discussion later on.John Pack Lambert (talk) 19:36, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

The tone of this discussion notwithstanding, I improved upon Gaijin's additions. I believe that the prose is more encyclopedic now; I also standardized the citations to parallel the conventions already used. (In the future, please do that with the other articles you contribute to; it means that other editors don't have to go behind you and fix them.) I also removed one of the sources used, since the same information was in the NYT article. (Also, the correct way to refer to the NYT is "The New York Times". I can't tell you how many times I've been corrected about it myself.) If anyone thinks they can improve upon what I've done, please do so. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 19:38, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

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