After much speculation, discussion around the water cooler, and conversations between kids of the older crowd, Sesame Street has now decided to put an end to it all and make an announcement — Bert and Ernie are not gay.
An official statement was released by Sesame Street on Thursday, August 10, 2011 that blatantly started this fact after an online campaign had gotten started to have the pair get married. The petition actually received over 5,800 signatures at the time of this report.
“Bert and Ernie are best friends,” the statement posted on Sesame Street’s Facebook page reads. “They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves.”
The statement continues: “Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”
Check out an image gallery of Bert and Ernie throughout the years
The wall of Sesame Street’s Facebook page actually started lighting up with questions and comments regarding this situation and the assertion behind it.
“Muppets do not have sexual orientation?” Sharkey Violet wrote. “So all along Miss Piggy was after Kermit for his frog legs for supper?”
“It just seems to me that you can’t say puppets don’t have a sexual orientation when there have been plenty of cases of hetero courtship on Sesame Street over the years,” Scott Hanson wrote. “The Count has had several girlfriends, to name just one example.”
“I don’t agree with the Bert marrying Ernie part of the petition,” Roy Hans added. “But I do think it would be good to have an LGBT character on Sesame Street. In South Africa they added an HIV-positive character to the [program] to combat ignorance and exclusion.”
Not everyone was so into the strong-side of wondering why the sexual orientation of different Muppets was such a big idea.
“I’m 100% committed to equality for all,” Daniel De Simone wrote. “But this was a silly, trivial campaign that put Sesame Street in an extraordinarily unfair dilemma. Thanks for defusing in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone, especially Sesame Street.”
Now with the situation officially diffused by Sesame Street, it will be interesting to see if the petition still carries on. So many are set in their ways no matter what the case may be and it isn’t as if 5,800+ supporters for a cause are just going to go away. None the less, Bert and Ernie will continue to live together, be roommates, and help teach kids the value of friendship.
Sesame Street can still be found on PBS so be sure to check your local listings. Those in New Orleans can find PBS on Cox Cable channel 12 and watch Sesame Street as it airs Monday through Friday at 4:00 PM Central.
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