For years I’ve heard people grumble about Sesame Street. In fact once when I was working in retail I remember hearing someone say that he wouldn’t let his kids watch Sesame Street because Bert and Ernie were gay. At the time I was floored by the ignorance of this gentleman’s proclamation. First there was his obvious distaste for homosexuals (bigotry towards gays has always made me ill). On top of that though was his ridiculous conclusion that these two Muppets were gay. I didn’t go any further on the topic with him but I suspect that he thought they were gay because why else would two men live together, right? Apparently he wasn’t alone in believing that Bert and Ernie were a couple. A petition was circulated on Facebook asking that Bert and Ernie get married.
Okay, I am very pro-gay and have been for years. I also support gay marriage, but Sesame Street is NOT the right forum to be discussing these issues. For one thing, it is ignorant to assume that roommates of the same gender are lovers. For another thing we’re talking about Muppets here people…MUPPETS. They are asexual (you know, kind of like Morrissey…sorry I couldn’t resist). In response to the controversy, the producers of Sesame Street have announced that Bert and Ernie are in fact not gay.
But, in a written statement released yesterday, Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organisation behind Sesame Street, insisted the relationship was strictly Platonic."Bert and Ernie are best friends," it said. "They were created to teach pre-schoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves."
Sadly I’m sure this will not end this absurd debate.