Former ‘Sesame Street’ Writer Mark Saltzman Saw Bert And Ernie As “Loving Couple,” Sesame Street Denies Characters Are Gay
Former Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman recently revealed that he saw Bert and Ernie as a loving couple.
“I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were,” Saltzman said during an interview with the website Queerty. “So I don’t think I’d know how else to write them, but as a loving couple.”
Saltzman had been in a longterm relationship with a man when he joined the show and admitted to using his relationship as creative inspiration when writing Bert & Ernie in the 1980s and 90s.
“I would never have said to the head writer, ‘Oh, I’m writing this, this is my partner and me,” Saltzman said.
At the time, Saltzman didn’t tell anyone where his inspiration stemmed from, but he has now decided to speak out about it.
In response to Saltzman’s claims about Bert and Ernie being a loving gay couple, Sesame Workshop, the organization behind Sesame Street stepped in to deny those claims, saying that Bert and Ernie are just friends.
Yesterday, the organization put out a statement on Twitter further explaining Bert and Ernie’s friendship.
Please see our most recent statement regarding Bert and Ernie below. pic.twitter.com/gWTF2k1y83
— Sesame Workshop (@SesameWorkshop) September 18, 2018
It was also noted that in 2013, The New Yorker featured Bert and Ernie snuggled on the couch watching as the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage and called it Bert and Ernie’s “Moment of Joy.”
The 1969 creator of Bert and original performer for the character, took to Twitter to speak about the situation between Saltzman and Sesame Workshop.
It seems Mr. Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay. It's fine that he feels they are. They're not, of course. But why that question? Does it really matter? Why the need to define people as only gay? There's much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness.
— Frank Oz (@TheFrankOzJam) September 18, 2018
Sesame Workshop has continued to stick with Bert and Ernie being just friends based on the fact that puppets don’t have sexual orientation. While others have continued to point out heterosexual feelings expressed in other characters like the Muppet’s, Kermit and Miss Piggy.