Sesame Street disputes the writer's claim that Bert and Ernie are gay Television and radio

The Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie are not gay and in a relationship the children's program was moved to say on Tuesday after a former writer had said they were.

In an interview with Queerty, Mark Salzman was asked whether the question had ever come up when he was working on the show in the early 1980s.

"I remember once," he said, "… a toddler in the city turned to Mama and asked:" Are Bert and Ernie lovers? "And that, coming from a toddler, was fun, and that went around and everyone grinned and went back to it. & # 39;

Salzman had a relationship with the film editor Arnold Glassman, who died in 2003. He added that he "always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, [a couple]. I had no other way to contextualise them. The other was that more than one person referred to Arnie and I as & # 39; Bert and Ernie & # 39 ;. "

Salzman said that although he looks "more Bert-like," he was "Ernie" in a relationship that was going to influence his work.

"I do not think I know how to write them differently, but as a loving couple, I wrote sketches … Arnie & # 39; s OCD would cause friction with how chaotic I was, and that is the dynamics of Bert and Ernie . "

Speculation about the sexuality and relationship of Bert and Ernie has long created friction between adult fans of Sesame Street and the creators of the show.

In 2011 Sesame Workshop shot an online petition in which Bert and Ernie had to marry.

In 2013, the New Yorker celebrated a Supreme Court ruling in which he challenged the Defense of Marriage Act by showing the two muppets on the cover that looked arm in arm, in a darkened room, TV.

In 2014 in Northern Ireland, the refusal of a baker to make a cake with ice cubes in which Bert and Ernie advocated gay marriage, led to a minor constitutional crisis.

Tuesday Sesame Workshop gave the same thing pronunciation it was released in response to the 2011 petition, preceded by "as we have always said".

"Bert and Ernie are best friends," it said. "They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with people who are very different from themselves.

"Although they are identified as male characters and possess many human characteristics and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain dolls and have no sexual orientation."

Responses to social media were widespread and many were cited as evidence for Miss Piggy's libidinal passion for Kermit. Both are mainly stars of The Muppet Show, where Piggy occasionally flirted with human stars including Sir Roger Moore. But Kermit also played regularly on Sesame Street.

Contact person for comment, Charles Kaiser, an employee of The Guardian and author of The Gay Metropolis: the Landmark History of Gay Life in America, said: "I have no personal knowledge about the sexual feelings of Bert and Ernie, but I do have a a few years with Richard Hunt, the very clever back part of Snuffleupagus. "

Hunt, who worked with Muppets maker Jim Henson for 20 years, died of AIDS in 1992, when he died in 1992.

In his interview with Queerty, Salzman also discussed Snuffleupagus, a lovable or constantly mammoth-like monster who first appeared on the show as the imaginary friend of Big Bird.

"He's the kind of clinically depressed Muppet," Salzman said. "You had characters who appealed to a gay audience, and Snuif, this depressed person that no one can see, that's kind of Kafka! It's also a kind of gay wardrobe. & # 39;

Sesame Workshop did not immediately comment.

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