"Sesame Street": Are Bert & Ernie Loving Best Friends or More? It's Complicated, But Not Really by Jessica Acree
The internet is abuzz with the reveal of Bert and Ernie's relationship perhaps extending beyond just friendship territory. Mark Saltzman, a former "Sesame Street" writer, stirred the waters during an interview with Queerty about a long-suspected theory that the two beloved Muppets characters are more than just roommates.
Saltzman, who is gay himself, admits to using influences inspired by his own life and "opposites attract" style relationship to shape the story of the two loving friends who operated in much the same way. "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," Saltzman reflects.
His comment was innocent enough. Writers are known for drawing context from their own lives to bring depth to the stories they tell, but he's now warning people not to over-exaggerate or define Bert and Ernie's relationship status. They love each other, yes! But that doesn't mean they are lovers. It's complicated.
Amid the swirl reactions online and beyond, Frank Oz, an original Jim Henson puppeteer adds, "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."
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.
— Frank Oz (@TheFrankOzJam) September 18, 2018
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind the series, chimed in, too, saying, "Sesame Street has always stood for inclusion and acceptance. It's a place where people of all cultures and backgrounds are welcome. Bert and Ernie were created to be best friends, and to teach young children that can get along with those who are very different from themselves."
At the end of the day, we hope that you agree love is love, no matter how it's characterized. Bert and Ernie are quirky, lovable, fun and loyal – traits we can all appreciate and continue to enjoy.
What do you think?
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