A former Sesame Street writer seemed to confirm the decades-old speculation that longtime Sesame Street roommates Bert and Ernie, were actually a same-sex couple. However a Sesame Street spokesperson says the muppets are only "best friends."
It all began on Sunday when Mark Saltzman, a 15-year veteran of the Street, told the LGBTQ website, Queerty, that he always considered Bert and Ernie to be lovers.
"I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were," Saltzman said.
Saltzman said friends of his would often refer to him and his partner at the time as Bert and Ernie.
"I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them," Saltzman said of the Muppets roommates. "The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie (Glassman) and I as ‘Bert and Ernie.'"
Saltzman wasn't "out" at the time when he was writing for the Street, eventually coming out during the course of the show.
Bert and Ernie first debuted on the Street when it first started airing back in 1969 with the original idea from Henson being that two totally different people can become good friends.
A spokesman for Sesame Street wrote on Twitter that the Muppet roommates are "best friends" and nothing more.
As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those are very different from themselves. 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.
Please see our statement below regarding Bert and Ernie. pic.twitter.com/6r2j0XrKYu— Sesame Workshop (@SesameWorkshop) September 18, 2018
Frank Oz, a longtime puppeteer for the show and voice behind some of its most beloved characters, also appeared to denounce Saltzman for assuming Bert and Ernie were gay.
It seems Mr. Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay. It's fine that he feels they are. They're not, of course. But why that question? Does it really matter? Why the need to define people as only gay? There's much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness.
It seems Mr. Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay. It's fine that he feels they are. They're not, of course. But why that question? Does it really matter? Why the need to define people as only gay? There's much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness.— Frank Oz (@TheFrankOzJam) September 18, 2018
Photo: Getty Images