‘Sesame Street’ Wants to Clarify: Bert and Ernie Aren’t Gay

Lawrence Kim
September 19, 2018

After decades of rumors and speculation, a writer for Sesame Street has confirmed that Bert and Ernie were indeed a couple.

Saltzman's partner was film editor Arnold Glassman, Reddish writes, and the two were together more than 20 years before Glassman died in 2003. "And that, coming from a preschooler was fun".

"I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were [gay]", Saltzman told LGBTQ blog Queerty. "I just hate to have people seen as only one way when, straight or gay, we have so many more layers in us", he wrote in reply. "The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie and I as Bert and Ernie".

The makers of "Sesame Street" say Bert and Ernie are not gay, despite the claim of a former writer for the show.

"I was Ernie. I look more Bert-ish".

The popular "Sesame Street" theme park, Sesame Place, where you can catch Bert and Ernie, and all of the other popular characters, is located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Bert with his paper clips and organisation? "And I was the jokester", Saltzman said.

According to a recent interview with longtime Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman, when he wrote scripts for the pair, he used interactions with his partner Arnie as inspiration.

"I created Bert", Oz tweeted.

"Bert and Ernie are not married".

Saltzman told the newspaper that while he did not restrict the puppets to a specific sexual orientation, he feels that the show should include a gay couple, but in human form, not puppets.

"Sesame Street" also denied Saltzman's assertions from their official Twitter account. "Somehow, in the uproar, that turned into Bert and Ernie being gay".

It's one of the universe's many unanswered questions: Are Bert and Ernie, the unmarried Muppets who have shared an address on Sesame Street since 1969 (and still look awesome!), more than merely friends and roommates? "I know what and who he is". Does it really matter?

Many Twitter users merely expressed surprise that some people thought the pair wasn't gay. In 2013, following passing of the US's same-sex marriage law, The New Yorker released a cover image showing Bert and Ernie snuggling on a sofa as they watched TV news coverage of the landmark event, which went viral.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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