The Speculation Around Bert & Ernie's Relationship Continues
An (ex)writer for Sesame Street claimed that Bert and Ernie are 100% gay and based off of his relationship with his partner
On Sunday, Mark Saltzman (who used to write for Sesame Street), said that he based Bert and Ernie’s lovable relationship on his relationship with his partner, the late Arnold Glassman.
In an interview with Queerty he said, “I don’t think I’d know how else to write them, but as a loving couple. That’s what I had in my life, a Bert and Ernie relationship. How could it not permeate? The things that would tick off Arnie (Saltzman’s bf) would tick off Bert.”
However, Sesame Workshop tweeted shortly after that interview clarifying that Bert and Ernie are only friends and they do not have a sexual orientation.
This is not the first time (and likely not the last) that Bert and Ernie’s sexual orientation has been in question. In the 90s, there was a skit where Ernie ate cookies in Bert’s bed. The founder of Spy magazine has been quoted saying “Bert and Ernie conduct themselves in the same loving, discreet way that millions of gay men, women and hand puppets do. They do their jobs well and live a splendidly settled life together in an impeccably decorated cabinet.”
In 1993, the show’s creators made their first statement publicly announcing that Bert and Ernie are “good friends” and “not humans.”
In 2002, Peter Spears created a documentary spoof featuring Bert and Ernie (with their names slightly changed to Ernest and Bertram). In the documentary, they become lovers and Ernie eventually shoots himself in the head. The owners of Sesame Street actually threatened to sue Spears over the “spoofumentary.”
While Bert and Ernie would still be accepted and loved if they were a couple, Sesame Street has made it clear that they would like for them to be seen and understood as friends and roommates. Since they are muppets, they really can’t have a sexual orientation - so we at The Sitch feel it could even be safe to say that it will forever be up for interpretation by each individual viewer.
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