A former writer for Sesame Street speaking to a blog says beloved characters Bert and Ernie are indeed gay, but Sesame Street workshop says not so fast.
Mark Saltzman told “Queerty” he modeled the characters based on his own relationship with longtime real world partner.
“I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were,” Saltzman told Queerty. “I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie and I as ‘Bert and Ernie.'”
On social media this afternoon, Sesame Workshop issued a statement that the characters are puppets and therefore do not have a sexual orientation.
“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 Steet Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”