Sesame Street Writer Considered the Characters a Couple
Roommates and pals since 1969, Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie may have been a couple too.
That's what former show writer Mark Saltzman told Queerty in an interview posted on September 16. When asked, "Ok, so we have to address—that's the big question, right? In the writer's room, you're all adults. Were you thinking of Bert & Ernie as a gay couple? Did that question ever come up?" Saltzman replied, "I remember one time that a column from The San Francisco Chronicle, a preschooler in the city turned to mom and asked, 'Are Bert & Ernie lovers?' And that, coming from a preschooler was fun. And that got passed around, and everyone had their chuckle and went back to it. And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were. I didn't have any other way to contextualize them."
OK, so maybe they're gay. If that's how the writer conceived them, so be it. But like any form of art, those who tuned in may have interpreted the puppets' status as nothing more than pals. Does it matter? Should it matter?
There are people who think it is great to have gay characters on a show like Sesame Street. Celebrating diversity and teaching its merits to children from the start is on the mind of plenty of parents who plop their little ones in front of the set day in and day out. Then there are those who find it preposterous to consider the duo to be partners. Be it something as biased as bigotry or as simple as they can't see the pair as anything more than platonic. Thirdly, they are puppets, not people. That's what the folks at Sesame Workshop are explaining. The company tweeted, "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." Alrighty then.
Please see our most recent statement regarding Bert and Ernie below. pic.twitter.com/gWTF2k1y83
— Sesame Workshop (@SesameWorkshop) September 18, 2018
That said, there are writers who put words to paper and voices behind the fuzzy friends conveying the messages. If a writer scripts scenes with their own point of view in mind, it only makes sense that it trickles into how the characters' personas develop. As NPR notes, "Saltzman was in a long term relationship with another man when he joined the show. 'That's what I had in my life, a Bert & Ernie relationship. How could it not permeate?'"
We can speculate on the matter endlessly. But only until Bert and Ernie define their sexual orientations and relationship, we may as well simply enjoy the happiness they bring and the lessons we've learned and continue to cherish.
Just friends? Fantastic. If they're a couple, congrats! And all this time, we thought rubber ducky was, "the one."
Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G, Understood.org, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, Better Homes & Gardens, AMC Daycare, and more.
POP⚡DUST | Read More...
- Bert and Ernie come out in support of gay marriage on The New ... ›
- Bert and Ernie not gay, Sesame Street Workshop says | abc7.com ›
- New Yorker cover suggests Bert and Ernie are gay - CNN ›
- Are Ernie and Bert gay? | Muppet Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia ›
- Are Bert and Ernie really a gay couple? | The Independent ›
The young star died in his sleep one year ago today.
Everyone who knew Cameron Boyce during his life described him as unfailingly kind.
The actor died unexpectedly on July 6th 2019 after suffering a seizure in his sleep. Since then, co-stars, friends, and fans alike have been grieving his loss.
At just nine years old, Boyce made his acting debut in a Panic! at the Disco music video. He soon became a household name among a certain age group thanks to his role in Jessie, a Disney Channel show that ran from 2011 to 2015. His movie credits include Mirrors, Eagle Eye with Shia LaBeouf and Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2 with Adam Sandler.
The only Black Driver in the top tier of NASCAR, Bubba Wallace is standing strong
Update 7/6/2020: On Monday morning President Trump tweeted about the noose incident, referring to the mistaken intent of the noose as a "HOAX" and wondering if Bubba Wallace had apologized to "those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid." President Trump also asserted that the incident, along with NASCAR's decision to ban the confederate flag had resulted in the association losing viewership for their races, yielding what Trump termed their "lowest ratings EVER!"
Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his sid… https://t.co/XGPapgYIAA— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1594038787.0