The makers of 'Sesame Street' felt forced to issue an official statement confirming Bert and Ernie are definitely not a gay couple

PBS/Sesame Street
  • Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organisation behind “Sesame Street,” issued a statement Tuesday regarding Bert and Ernie’s sexuality.
  • “As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends,” Sesame Workshop said. “They remain puppets, and have no sexual orientation.”
  • The statement comes after former “Sesame Street” writer Mark Saltzman said in a recent interview that he viewed Bert and Ernie as a gay couple.

The non-profit organisation behind “Sesame Street,” Sesame Workshop, and former “Sesame Street” writer, Mark Saltzman, have very different thoughts on Bert and Ernie’s sexuality.

Sesame Workshop issued a statement Tuesday regarding Saltzman’s comments in a recent interview, where he said that he viewed Bert and Ernie, “Sesame Street’s” inseparable best buds, as a gay couple.

“As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends,” Sesame Workshop said. “They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves,” the statement continued. “Even though they are identifiable as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most ‘Sesame Street’ Muppets do), they remain puppets, and have no sexual orientation.”^tfw

Saltzman made his comments in an interview with Queerty that was published Sunday, and has since made the rounds on the internet.

“I remember one time that a column from The San Francisco Chronicle, a preschooler in the city turned to mum and asked ‘Are Bert and Ernie lovers?’,” he said. “That coming from a preschooler was fun, and that got passed around, and everyone had their chuckle and went back to it.”

He added: “I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them.”

Bert performer Frank Oz even weighed in on the debate with a Tuesday tweet, saying “They’re not, of course [a gay couple]. But why that question? Does it really matter? Why the need to define people as only gay? There’s much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness.”

He added, in response to a reply, “I created Bert. I know what and who he is.”

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