A former writer for the long-running children’s program Sesame Street caused quite a stir online after stating that characters Bert and Ernie were a loving, gay couple. The program’s parent company has since fired back saying that they’re just best friends and were created to teach kids how to be pals with someone different from them.
The Blast reports:
The Blast has obtained the statement from Sesame Workshop, “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.”
They continue, “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.”
Legendary Mupeteer Frank Oz has also weighed in, saying “It seems Mr. Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay. It’s fine that he feels they are. They’re not, of course. 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.”
The outlet added that Sesame Workshop issued an updated statment that they stand for “inclusion and acceptance” for all “cultures and backgrounds.”