WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A former writer for Sesame Street has stated in an interview that Bert and Ernie are gay.
- Meanwhile, Sesame Workshop insists that the two are just very close friends.
- Bert and Ernie recently starred in a parody of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, rapping about how they met.
Many have had their hunches about Bert and Ernie for years, but now it seems like fans have some confirmation. Mark Saltzman, a former Sesame Street writer, confirmed in an interview by LGBTQ lifestyle website Queerty that the two well-known puppet roommates are more than just friends.
Saltzman told the outlet that he remembers a column from The San Francisco Chronicle wherein “a preschooler in the city turned to mom and asked ‘Are Bert and Ernie lovers?’” He mused, “That coming from a preschooler was fun, and that got passed around, and everyone had their chuckle and went back to it.”
“I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie and I as ‘Bert and Ernie,’ ” Saltzman recounted, comparing his own relationship with editor Arnold Glassman.
Sesame Workshop, however, denied Saltzman’s statement in a tweet hours later, stating: “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.”
Sesame Workshop went on to clarify in their tweet that although the two are “identified as male characters” and, like most Sesame Street Muppets, have many human characteristics, “they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”
Bert and Ernie are pop culture icons. Perhaps you’ve seen them in their recent remake of the theme song of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, a 1990’s sitcom where Will Smith rose to fame. In the parody, Bert and Ernie rap about how they met. The rap concluded with the following lines: “One half of a whole, one part of a pair. That’s the story of how we became Ernie and Bert.”