- Sesame puppeteer resigns, sex claims 'distraction'
- Argentina scores double at International Emmys
- Power play
Posted: 20 Nov 2012 04:49 PM PST
NEW YORK: The puppeteer behind the beloved "Sesame Street" character Elmo has resigned following allegations that he had sexual relationships with underage teens.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Kevin Clash said he was leaving the popular US children's television show after nearly three decades with a "heavy heart," but needed to settle the allegations against him "privately."
Sesame Workshop, which produces the show, said the controversy swirling around the 52-year-old Clash had become a "distraction" that could not be overcome, calling it "a sad day for Sesame Street."
Last week, Clash - who is openly gay - took a leave of absence from the show after a man said the pair had had sex several years ago, when the accuser was only 16 - a claim Clash firmly denied. The man later dropped the claim.
But on Tuesday, celebrity website TMZ.com reported that a second man, identified as Cecil Singleton, had filed a lawsuit claiming the pair had a relationship when he was under the age of consent.
"Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin's personal life has become a distraction that none of us wants," Sesame Workshop said, adding that Clash "has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned."
"Sesame Workshop's mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential," it said.
"Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization."
In a separate statement, Clash said: "I am resigning from Sesame Workshop with a very heavy heart."
"Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer," he added in the statement sent by his publicist Risa Heller.
"I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately."
Last week, Clash admitted he had had a relationship with the first accuser, but insisted it occurred after the man had turned 17. Later, the accuser's lawyers issued a statement saying it was an "adult consensual relationship."
Clash was the subject of last year's "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey," a documentary narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, which won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival. He has won multiple Emmy awards.
"Sesame Street," which first appeared on public television in November 1969, teaches children the basics of reading, writing and counting.
Sesame Workshop said last week that the controversy surrounding Clash would not have an impact on the show, or its furry red star.
"Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of Sesame Street to engage, educate and inspire children around the world," it said. - AFP
Posted: 20 Nov 2012 04:47 PM PST
NEW YORK: The International Emmy Awards went to TV shows from half a dozen countries, although South America had the most success with Argentina and Brazil snaring two each.
Alan Alda, the star of "M*A*S*H," a long-running comedy series about Korean War combat doctors, and Norman Lear, the pioneering creator of the edgy 1970s comedy "All in the Family," were also honored with the special International Arts & Sciences' Founders Award at Monday night's ceremony in New York.
Britain, often the dominant player at the annual awards, which recognize excellence in television outside of the United States, took the documentary category with "Choosing to Die," about assisted suicide, and the TV movie/mini series category with "Black Mirror."
But the stand-out victor was "Television por la Inclusion," an Argentine drama about gritty social issues that won Cristina Banegas the best actress prize for her role as a struggling mother, and Dario Grandinetti the best actor award for his portrayal of a xenophobic taxi driver. It was the first time a single show won in both categories.
Brazil also snagged two prizes, one for comedy with "The Invisible Woman" and another for the best telenovela, "The Illusionist."
The ceremony also saw Australia get the reality TV prize for "The Amazing Race Australia," France win best drama prize for "Braquo season 2," and Germany the outstanding arts programming with "Songs of War." - AFP
Posted: 21 Nov 2012 02:35 AM PST
Homeland gets even more intriguing in its second season.
DID anyone remember to breathe when watching Homeland's First Season finale? (Spoiler alert ahead ...) In that episode, everything comes to a head as Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) – who has strapped himself to a suicide vest bomb – enters a safe room and is ready to detonate the bomb.
In this scene, Lewis gives a splendid performance, definitely deserving of the Emmy he won recently, as he conveys the character's doubt and determination all at the same time.
With the season ending on such a high note, two questions now arise: can it continue at the same pace in the Second Season, and what exactly can the writers do to up the ante?
The answer to the first question is, the new season picks up right from the get-go, practically sprinting with every new episode as it throws twists, drama, political intrigue and fleshed-out characters all wrapped up in amazing scriptwriting and performances.
Homeland is now halfway through the second season, and it has yet to let up on the intensity.
In the First Season's finale, Brody comes out of the suicide plan alive but pays a steep price for his last-minute decision. Meanwhile, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) – a CIA agent with bipolar disorder – makes the decision to get medical treatment for her condition after everyone turns their back on her and her theories.
In the Second Season opener, Mathison's condition has improved, thanks to her treatment, and she is doing more normal stuff (Mathison gardening? Really?). Only a shade of the old Mathison is present and she gets her groove back when she is presented with undeniable evidence that Brody is actually working for the terrorists.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you up the ante in a series that is already taking all sorts of risks. What is more, before you can say "let's surveil this guy", Mathison is already putting handcuffs on Brody in a hotel room.
This is also when the series turns up the thrills a notch higher by introducing an equally dedicated (and kind of crazed) CIA agent, Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend). His interrogation methods are even more intense than Jack Bauer of 24.
The violent exchanges between Quinn and Brody set up the scene nicely when Mathison takes over the questioning. Mathison – who has never had much control in the past when it comes to Brody – manages to bring down the walls the latter has built with just words and simple gestures. The moment she gets through to him is also when the audience realises the truth.
One would think that the truth would set Brody free. Well, in a world where terrorism and the CIA are involved, the truth only seems to bind him even more. With a threat hanging over his head, Brody has no choice but to become a double agent. Now, through much lying and deceit, he has become a human time bomb. To make matters worse, he has to contend with a political career, something he obviously does not care for.
At the core of Homeland are these two flawed characters who hold on to high principles at great personal cost and yet are still highly fallible. With Danes and Lewis in these roles, you always end up questioning the characters' intentions and actions. Is she manipulating him, or it it the other way around ... the cat-and-mouse game is just so delicious.
It is a good thing too that the focus has shifted from Mrs Brody (Morena Baccarin), who is perhaps the weakest character in the series, to her daughter Dana. The young actress Morgan Saylor makes this teenager a likeable one. What makes her interesting is that her reaction is not always what you would expect from a teen – be it when she discovers her father's secret or realises he may not be the man she thought he was. Seeing things from her point of view magnifies the kind of trouble Brody has gotten himself into.
These tantalising developments have made us even more curious to see what is going to happen next. Whatever it is, the solution is not going to be anywhere near easy for anyone.
>Homeland is shown on Fox Movies Premium (Astro Ch 413) and Fox Movies Premium HD (Astro Ch 433) at 11pm on Sundays.
|You are subscribed to email updates from The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|