Sesame Street has been a voice of education to teach children to spell, learn math, be honest, respectful and all basics of growing up.
Bert and Ernie along with the Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, Big Bird, Grover, Elmo, Count von Count, Mr. Snuffleupagus and many more have been there to teach children.
Over the past years Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie sexuality has come in question especially since everyone these days claims they’re “woke.” Regardless of society weighing in on Sesame Street being an educational television program for young children, Bert and Ernie remain influential. Read on to see what Sesame Street is saying…
On Tuesday, Sesame Street released an official statement rejecting a claim by a longtime writer for The Muppets that characters Bert and Ernie are gay.
Sesame Street said in a statement:
As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.
What started the madness about Bert and Ernie?
Well, the controversy erupted after LGBTQ blog Queerty published an interview with Mark Saltzman who spent 15 years writing for The Muppets. Saltzman said he not only considered the characters of Bert and Ernie to be gay. Mark modeled the two friends relationship from his own real-life one with his gay partner.
Now, Sesame Street has every right to denounce the characters sexual orientation, but maybe they should have a question where Saltzman was getting his inspiration.
Two men who are friends do sleep in the same bed every night for starters. But if you look at the outcome, Sesame Street helped young boys who were already questioning their sexuality because they liked other boys. On a positive note, Bert and Ernie helped so many boys realize that two men in a relationship can be healthy.
Mark explained to Queerty:
So it was the Bert and Ernie relationship, and I was already with Arnie when I came to Sesame Street. So I don’t think I’d know how else to write them but as a loving couple. I wrote sketches … Arnie’s OCD would create friction with how chaotic I was. And that’s the Bert & Ernie dynamic.
That’s what I had in my life, a Bert and Ernie relationship. How could it not permeate? The things that would tick off Arnie would be the things that would tick off Bert. How could it not? I will say that I would never have said to the head writer, ‘Oh, I’m writing this, this is my partner and me.’
Bert and Ernie are champions too many and considered gay icons. In 2011, a Change.org online petition calling for Bert and Ernie to marry on screen when gay marriage was legalized in New York.
Why Bert and Ernie Seem Gay:
Mark modeled the characters after himself, so its only natural he would say they are gay, but on Sesame Street they do have separate beds and act like roommates. It just they come off like a gay couple and that makes perfect sense because they were modeled after a gay couple.
Why the world recieves Bert and Ernie as a gay couple:
In 2013, a New Yorker cover depicted Bert and Ernie snuggling on a sofa while watching the Supreme Court decision clearing the way for legalized gay marriage nationwide.
For some reason, Sesame Street is still stuck in the past ways of thinking. In 1994 former Sesame Workshop CEO Gary Knell dismissed the buzz bluntly:
They are not gay, they are not straight, they are puppets. They don’t exist below the waist.