• Today’s Hot Topic: Kevin Clash’s Accuser Should Know That Words Have Meaning

    Why the attack on Elmo has me considering an important life lesson.

    By Whitney C. Harris

    Big Bird isn’t the only “Sesame Street” character who’s ruffling feathers this fall. The news that Kevin Clash, the longtime voice of Elmo, engaged in a sexual relationship with a minor had many parents shifting uncomfortably in their chairs this week. The more recent news that his now-24-year-old accuser has retracted the allegation let’s us breathe a collective sigh of relief. But so many questions remain.

    One of those important questions is, what can we learn from this? A discussion surrounding potentially inappropriate sexual encounters aside (an entirely separate and equally important conversation with kids), I think we can teach our children a simple but powerful lesson–one that Elmo himself would probably agree with: Words have meaning as well as consequences.

    Once you say something–whether it’s “I’ll never be good at math” or “shut up” or simply something untrue–you can’t take it back. In almost all cases, someone has heard it. In this case, it was a false and serious claim about someone in the public spotlight. In this case, the world heard it.

    Regarding what led this young man to make such an unsubstantiated claim, one can only hope that it was the result of some terrible misunderstanding or misjudgment and not motivated by money or cruel intentions. But regardless of his reason for lying, I would have thought that a 24-year-old adult would have already learned such life lessons about honesty and the impact that words can have, if not from “Sesame Street” than certainly at home or school during formative years. They’re lessons that I’ll be sure to teach my own children.

    Whitney C. Harris is Deputy Editor of New York Family. She can be reached at wharris@manhattanmedia.com

  • Calendar

    The 33rd Annual Downtown Dance Festival At Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park

    Dance lovers should check out this diverse festival in lower Manhattan. Featuring dance genres ranging from Indian dance to tap... [more]

    Stomp

    This eight-person ensemble creates music with everyday items; no real instruments allowed. It’s all about dance, rhythm, and creativity. Children... [more]

    The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway

    Broadway’s longest-running show, based on the horror novel in which a deformed composer haunts an opera house, still delivers romance,... [more]

    Fringe Jr. At The Theater At 14th St. Y

    FringeNYC, the largest multi-arts festival in North America, has special kid-friendly productions in the form of FringeJR. “Peter Pan and... [more]

    Bessie’s Big Shot at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre

    Based on the acclaimed PuppetMobile show of the same name, Bessie's Big Shot follows Bessie the Cow as she attempts... [more]

    Aladdin on Broadway

    This classic Disney film's Broadway musical adaptation has received rave reviews and numerous Tony nominations. Featuring additional new songs and... [more]

    Central Park Conservancy Film Festival At Central Park

    Grab a picnic and blanket to celebrate New York's iconic role in cinema at the Central Park Conservancy Film Festival, starting... [more]

    Newsies The Musical on Broadway

    Based on the Disney movie and the real-life newsboy strike, this show focuses on a group of newsboys who fight... [more]

    Matilda the Musical on Broadway

    Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, Matilda, has arrived on Broadway in an all-new musical. “Matilda” is the story of a lively, highly imaginative... [more]

    9th Annual Shorebird Festival At Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

    Bird lovers will want to check out this annual Shorebird Festival, which takes place at peak shorebird migration time in... [more]

    Wicked on Broadway

    The prequel to The Wizard of Oz, this popular show focuses on the history of the Wicked Witch of the West. Highly... [more]

    Stomp

    This eight-person ensemble creates music with everyday items; no real instruments allowed. It’s all about dance, rhythm, and creativity. Children... [more]

    Fringe Jr. At The Theater At 14th St. Y

    FringeNYC, the largest multi-arts festival in North America, has special kid-friendly productions in the form of FringeJR. “Peter Pan and... [more]

    The Lion King on Broadway

    This Disney movie has been a Broadway hit since it opened in 1997. Between the elaborate costumes, colorful makeup, comedy,... [more]

    Gazillion Bubble Show

    This interactive show for all ages combines lasers, lights, and bubbles of all shapes and sizes. Audience members can even... [more]

    Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs at American Museum of Natural History

    Take a walk back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the earth. In AMNH's latest exhibit, Pterosaurs: Flight in the... [more]

    Art Adventure Mondays At The Jewish Museum

    Explore the galleries of the Jewish Museum with stories, sketching, and exciting themes each week.... [more]

    The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway

    Broadway’s longest-running show, based on the horror novel in which a deformed composer haunts an opera house, still delivers romance,... [more]

    Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs at American Museum of Natural History

    Take a walk back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the earth. In AMNH's latest exhibit, Pterosaurs: Flight in the... [more]

    Blue Man Group

    This literally blue trio combines theater, art, and technology into a fascinatingly original performance that’s hard to describe. It’s recommended... [more]

    Cinderella on Broadway

    Originally produced for television in 1957 and starring an up-and-coming Julie Andrews, this Rodgers & Hammerstein musical made its Broadway... [more]

  • Sign up here for the

    New York Family

    newsletters

    Thank you, your sign-up request was successful! Please check your e-mail inbox.
    Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!
    Please provide a valid email address.
    Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
  • Latest Issue
  • New York Family Guides