After years of speculation, Bert and Ernie of Sesame Street fame are gay, according to one of the show’s writers.
“Mark Saltzman, who joined the Sesame Street team in 1984, has revealed he did indeed write Bert and Ernie as a gay couple,” according to a report.
Saltzman said that the characters “reflected his own same sex relationship with film editor Arnold Glassman at the time.”
Sesame Street has a long history of denying that the characters were romantically involved, perhaps stemming from ratings concerns.
After gay marriage was legalized in New York, fans of the show started a petition for Bert and Ernie to get married during an episode. The show released a statement at the time saying that the pair were “best friends” and 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, they remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation,” the statement said.
Gary Knell, CEO of Sesame Workshop said in 1994 that Bert and Ernie “are not gay, they are not straight, they are puppets.”
Despite all of the denial, Bert and Ernie can finally be themselves, without having to hide who they truly are.
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