No, Bert and Ernie aren't gay — they're 'best friends,' says 'Sesame Street'

by Gina Vivinetto / / Source: TODAY

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Just when you were ready to finally throw a coming-out party for Bert and Ernie, "Sesame Street" is stepping in to say the beloved puppet duo is not gay.

The clarification comes days after a former writer for the long-running PBS children's show said he considered Bert and Ernie to be more than roommates.

Image: Bert & Ernie, 'Sesamstra?e' ARD, Sesamstrasse,, (Photo by Pet
A former "Sesame Street" writer says he wrote Bert and Ernie as a gay couple. But the long-running PBS children's show says its puppets do not have a sexual orientation.Peter Bischoff/Getty Images

"I remember one time that a column from the San Francisco Chronicle, a preschooler in the city turned to mom and asked, ‘Are Bert and Ernie lovers?’ That coming from a preschooler was fun, and that got passed around, and everyone had their chuckle and went back to it," former "Sesame Street" writer Mark Saltzman told the LGBTQ website Queerty.

Saltzman explained that, as a gay man, when he wrote Bert and Ernie segments for the show, he imagined the pair as a "loving couple."

"I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were (gay). I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them," he recalled, adding that friends saw similarities at the time between Bert and Ernie and Saltzman and his own real-life partner.

But on Tuesday, Sesame Workshop, which produces the show, chimed in on Twitter to say Bert and Ernie, who've been living together since 1969, are simply BFFs.

"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 who are very different from themselves,” the tweet reads. "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."

Image: Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy
Kermit and Miss Piggy have had an on-and-off romance.Dave M. Benett / Getty Images

Of course, that clarification doesn't make much sense when you consider the decadeslong on-off romance between Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog — also both puppets. And, wait a minute, didn't Gonzo fall in love with a chicken? (Not that we're judging!)

While we're too sophisticated to put our own labels on anyone, even puppets, we're happy to see Bert and Ernie still thriving together after nearly 50 years.

Straight, gay, or otherwise, the pair is as fabulous as ever in our eyes.

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