Are the Sesame Street duo Bert and Ernie gay? The show's writer, Mark Saltzman, has now said that the two puppets are not gay. "They are two guys who love each other" he clarified.
The entire controversy about Bert and Ernie being gay kicked off when Saltzman gave an interview to Queerty, a gay news entertainment site. He spoke about the show and answered the much-awaited question about whether or not the two best friends had a love interest for each other. He said, "I always felt that without a huge agenda when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were" gay. "I didn't have any other way to contextualize them."
The internet exploded with both excitement and disapproval. But soon enough Sesame Workshop sent out a statement saying that Bert and Ernie are "Best friends" and have no sexual orientation as they were puppets.
The post read: "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," the tweet reads. "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."
Later, Saltzman himself clarified the confusion saying his comments were misinterpreted. He that you write only what you know and similarly his relationship with his partner, Arnold Glassman who died in 2003 were like Bert and Ernie as they were two different people who just loved each other, as reported by The New York Times.
"As a writer, you just bring what you know into your work. "Somehow, in the uproar, that turned into Bert and Ernie being gay. "There is a difference," he said in a phone interview.
He continued to say that he did not have any particular sexual orientation to tag Bert and Ernie with. Saltzman thinks that Sesame Street should have a story that involved homosexual relationships but has to be done with human characters and not puppets, according to the news outlet.
"They are two guys who love each other," he said. "That's who they are."