Bert and Ernie are just friends, says Sesame Workshop

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/09/18/bert-and-ernie-are-just-friend.html

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Bert and Ernie are a gay couple, says ex-'Sesame Street' writer
#2

I don’t care… my headcanon says otherwise and will always be that way.

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#3

But if they WERE gay it would be O.K.…

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#4

My head cannon always had them as friends and roomies. It’s pne of those things that’s fine which ever why you slice it.

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#5

I always thought if Bert were in a relationship, it would be with a pigeon.

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#6

Oh FFS, I cannot believe this has come up again.

There’s nothing wrong with loving whomever you want, but puppets don’t have genitalia or a sex drive… and it’s a freakin’ kids show where sexuality is never addressed.

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#7

I can understand why they have to say this (because PBS funding will vanish immediately if they say otherwise). But Frank Oz, who created Bert, agrees:

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#8

Do characters have a sex drive or romantic orientation within the context of their fiction?

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#9

On Sesame Street?

Unless it’s drastically changed since I last watched it with my kid, I’m gonna say no; sexuality or any romantic orientation of the individual characters is never addressed.

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#10

# Bert and Ernie are just friends

Porn hub says otherwise, my friend told me…

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#11

I thought there were married human characters on Sesame Street at times.

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#12

While watching it as a kid yourself, you mean?

That’s totally ‘okay.’ Like the man who created them says, it doesn’t really matter.

I just don’t want to see Sesame Street end up cancelled because some religious zealots could lose their shit over a kids’ show “promoting the gay agenda.”

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#13

Other than Bob and Linda in a romantic relationship

and Luis and Maria marrying each other on air and having a fictional child together.

Explaining prenancy to Big Bird

And Gordon and Susan as a married couple

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#14

I’m a little disappointed that Frank Oz doesn’t seem to understand why it’s important to have non-cis-het-white people in children’s media. Bert and Ernie being gay doesn’t (pardon the inadvertent joke) pigeon-hole them, it doesn’t diminish them, it doesn’t define them any more than the humans being straight defines or diminishes them. But making gay people visible is critical in helping gay kids understand that they’re normal and part of the real world.

And as for sexuality, it’s not like Sesame Street doesn’t have heterosexual muppet couples…

Homosexuality is not an “adult” concept. I get why CTW would be gun-shy about risking their funding in the current environment, but seriously.

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#16

I get it.

I just don’t feel the need to cede the discussion here to the swivel-eyed loons.

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#17

They are so not right for each other anyway. . . .

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#18

Bob & Linda = human

Luis & Maria = human

Luis & Maria, again = still human

Gordon and Susan = human

Thanks for the “gotcha!” moment, but I did specifically say that I was talking about the PUPPETS.

I acknowledge the heteronormative elements that are included in the show; considering that it’s prevalent in pretty much all media.

And now I’m done with this conversation; as I can see it’s likely to go off the rails.

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#19

Some human characters have been portrayed in long-term heterosexual relationships (Gordon and Susan, Luis and Maria) but I can’t recall if any puppets had love interests on the show. Maybe a Kermit/Piggy crossover?

ETA: I see you addressed this in a subsequent post.

It’s probably not important to have explicitly gay puppets if they don’t have explicitly straight puppets. It would be nice if they introduced an LGBT human character though. (Or maybe they already have? I haven’t watched in a long time.) One of the great things about Sesame Street is how the show has always embraced diversity.

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#20

As noted in the tweet I linked, at the very least Grover and Cookie Monster both have on-screen, canonical, ostensibly heterosexual parents.

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#21

Again, not the last time I watched it, but that would have been at least 8 years ago.

Muppets are another story, despite being another Jim Henson creation; some of those characters most certainly had romantic inclinations.

That said, personally, I’ll be happy when the day comes that there’s a gay couple in the supporting human cast and no one even notices, because it’s no longer ‘a big deal…’ but sadly, our society isn’t there yet; especially not with certain factions trying like hell to drag us back to the dark ages.

And now I really am done.

:slight_smile:

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