Update- There is no convincing PBS that Bert and Ernie are gay. For sometime, Bert and Ernie have raised some eyebrows with their bromance that seems to never end. The idea of introducing openly gay puppets in the 60’s when the pair made their debut would have shocked more than a few parents. But times have changed and nearly any and everything is available for consumption.
After New York City legalized gay marriage earlier this year, where Sesame Street is based, online petitioners thought what better time than now to officially request PBS to make Bert and Ernie’s union official, of course that’s assuming Bert and Ernie are gay to begin with. PBS wasn’t going for it and even seemed offended by the idea, posting on their Facebook page,
“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.”
While off the surface it appears to be a bold move by the petitioners, Bert and Ernie do have a lot of explaining to do. Like why after 40 years, the pair have not only shared their one bed room apartment on Sesame Street, but also find joy in frequently taking rubber ducky baths or dancing with park pigeons together?
“They’re just life-long bachelor Muppets, who unlike Mss Piggy and Kermit, aren’t romantically involved,” says PBS.
Viewers are willing to let PBS slide on their version of bachelors to tackle the bigger issue of overt sexual orientation on TV to children. One viewer stated,
Sexual relationship content of any kind — heterosexual, homosexual or otherwise — does not belong on a show targeted to preschoolers! It really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. There are many other appropriate venues for furthering this discussion, but preschool television is not the right place. It is amazing to me that this even needs to be said…
Share your thoughts – If Bert and Ernie were indeed gay should PBS allow them to marry on the show? Is this too much for pre-schoolers? Are you shocked by the sheer audacity of the petitioners?