The producers of “Sesame Street” want you to know that Bert and Ernie are not, in fact, gay — they’re merely the best of friends.
Sesame Workshop tweeted Tuesday that the characters are best friends and have many human traits but “remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.” In a follow-up tweet, it says “Sesame Street has always stood for inclusion and acceptance .”
Please see our statement below regarding Bert and Ernie. pic.twitter.com/6r2j0XrKYu
— Sesame Workshop (@SesameWorkshop) September 18, 2018
The tweets came in response to an interview published Sunday by Queerty with Mark Saltzman, an openly gay former writer for “Sesame Street.” He says that when he was writing scenes with Bert and Ernie, he “always felt that without a huge agenda” they were lovers .
“As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach pre-schoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves,” read a statement from Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street.
“Even though they are identified as male characters and have many human traits and characteristics, (as most muppet characters do), they remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation.”
Reaction from the Twitterverse was fast and positive. Within 18 hours of the first tweet, more than 30,000 people had “hearted” the statement.
The Associated Press