With news that Peter Robbins, the voice behind Charlie Brown, faces stalking charges, we have to wonder how many more of our beloved characters from childhood will be tarnished this winter. Now, Charlie Brown isn't ruined quite yet. On Wednesday, a San Diego judge charged Robbins with, in the words of the Associated Press, "stalking and threatening his former girlfriend and a plastic surgeon who gave her a breast enhancement he apparently didn't like." This doesn't sound good.
It gets worse. After the 56-year-old former voice actor and his now former girlfriend broke up, Robbins got a little bit, shall we say, obsessive. He called her as many as 37 times a day and harassed her office so much that they had to hire an armed security guard. She even moved out of her for a while and into a hotel. On New Years Eve Robbins allegedly showed up at the hotel, where he proceeded to beat his own dog and refused to stop unless she got a refund for her breast implant surgery. (Apparently, he didn't like them and was also charged with harassing the doctor who performed the surgery.) Oh, and Robbins threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and their son if they didn't give him back the car and the dog mentioned in the animal abuse episode above.
Pretty depressingly, this is the first time we've seen the man behind a children's character end up in handcuffs this year. Back in November, we watched in horror as Kevin Clash, the Sesame Street puppeteer behind Elmo and the star of the documentary Being Elmo, descended into a very unsettling scandal involving his alleged relationships with teenage boys. First it was just one boy and then it was two and now Kevin Clash is no longer Elmo. A third and fourth victim later stepped forward, involving Clash in a litany of lawsuits and a terrible level of shame.
It's not too late for these childhood heroes to be absolved, but in the meantime, we're just scared of what comes next. Bart Simpson is a terrorist? Barney's a commie? Dear God don't tell me Reading Rainbow star Lavar Burton is out there peddling iPad apps. He is!
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.