It’s 2018 and it’s a laboured point but 50 years ago, a lot of people genuinely thought we’d have flying cars, houses on the moon and a cure for every disease.
However, Twitter (a concept that most people from 1968 would be completely unimpressed by) is currently ablaze because two children’s puppets may or may not be gay.
God I don’t know. It’s just so early. Bert and Ernie are puppets who sing the alphabet and sh*t and now half of Twitter think they’re gay and the other half are either dangerously p**sed off or haven’t heard the news.
Honestly, I thought it was implicit anyway, but the characters’ writer, Mark Saltzman, recently came out to say the two are in a loving relationship. He said he based their relationship on his own relationship with film editor Arnold Glassman:
“And Arnie as a film editor — if you thought of Bert with a job in the world, wouldn’t that be perfect? Bert with his paper clips and organisation? And I was the jokester. So it was the Bert & Ernie relationship, and I was already with Arnie when I came to Sesame Street. So I don’t think I’d know how else to write them, but as a loving couple. I wrote sketches… Arnie’s OCD would create friction with how chaotic I was. And that’s the Bert & Ernie dynamic.“
A lot of people are delighted, of course…
So that seems pretty conclusive, right? Wrong. Sesame Street themselves decided to ruin the fun and release a statement…
“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. 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.“
Hmmm. Kermit and Miss Piggy have a sexual orientation and I’m pretty sure Animal f*cks drums so that doesn’t seem right.
Should Bert and Ernie be gay? Sure. The world of children’s television could do with some more representation of that kind. It’s because there’s so little representation to children growing up that gayness almost seems like a taboo to some when they do eventually come across it, and anything that can relieve prejudice is obviously very important.
Also, I just watched this clip from classic Bert and Ernie and – not only was it surprisingly funny – they are definitely a couple. You’ll know what I mean when you watch it…
Jeez just let them be gay, cowards.
And then follow me on Twitter – @AlfiePowell
Images via Sesame Street