Sesame Street Insist Bert And Ernie Aren't Gay And Fans Aren't Happy

Sesame Street Insist Bert And Ernie Aren't Gay And Fans Aren't Happy

While the majority of us as children never thought about the love lives of Sesame Street characters, even though we all knew Miss Piggy was besotted with Kermit the Frog, yesterday a writer from the show announced that 'roommates' Bert and Ernie were a 'loving couple'.

Speaking to Queerty, Mark Salzman revealed that during the time he was writing Bert and Ernie he was having a similar relationship with a man and that's the only way he knew how to relate to Bert and Ernie's relationship. The writer revealed that it was an inside joke and more than one person likened Bert and Ernie to Mark and his partner Al.

I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them.

Hours after the statement was made Sesame Street denied the claims that Bert and Ernie were a gay couple.

The company claim that while the characters are both males, share a bedroom and live together, "they remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation". Now Twitter has begun to question the integrity of Sesame Street and why Bert and Ernie are being denied representation.



While the argument rages on, others are wondering why a children's show needs to be sexualised in the first place. Comments are focusing on emphasizing gay relationships rather than straight as heterosexual relationships are assumed within the show. While Bert and Ernie never act overtly sexual, Miss Piggy was an early contender for the MeToo movement as she frequently harassed Kermit the Frog on The Muppet Show. Kermit was a regular on Sesame Street.

In one early scene from Sesame Street Bert tells Ernie he's in love with him and whether or not that's romantic love, it's important that men can be represented as being in a healthy, loving and homosocial friendship.


Heterosexual relationships are commonplace in young adult and children's fiction but gay romantic relationships, whether it be a kiss, a simple holding of hands or a coming out moment, are considered radical and up for public debate. Frank Oz, the puppeteer behind Bert, denies that Bert was gay. Oz acted as Bert but did not write the source material.

Actor Michael Rapaport shared a volatile rant on Twitter about the puppets not being gay and referring to the issue as being created by "hipster freaked out fucks":

Bert and Ernie have become gay icons since landing on screen back in 1969 however, Sesame Street refused to accept a petition, signed by thousands of people, to see the puppets married back in 2011.

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Garret Farrell

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