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A 'Sesame Street' Writer Confirmed That Bert & Ernie Are Gay & We Can’t Say We Didn’t Suspect It

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Over the years, there’s been rumors that one of the most iconic television duos of all time (you can’t argue with us on that), might just be more than friends. This week, our suspicions were confirmed.

In an exclusive interview with LGBTQ lifestyle website Queerty, Mark Saltzman, a Sesame Street writer since 1984, revealed that the rumors are true: Bert and Ernie are a couple!

Saltzman revealed that although it’s never explicitly stated in the show, Bert and Ernie are, in fact, gay. Openly gay himself, Saltzman claimed that he drew on his own relationship with late film editor Arnold Glassman as inspiration for everyone’s favorite roommates.

In the interview, Saltzman says that many people compared he and Glassman to Bert and Ernie, so when he was writing scripts it was hard not to use their own relationship as inspiration. “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.” he said.

Saltzman even agrees that Bert and Ernie became counterparts to him and Glassman. “That’s what I had in my life, a Bert & Ernie relationship. How could it not permeate? The things that would tick off Arnie would be the things that would tick off Bert. How could it not? I will say that I would never have said to the head writer, ‘oh, I’m writing this, this is my partner and me,’” he said.

He says he also often tried to pitch gay storylines in the past, but never got very far. “I can remember pitching to the education department, the gatekeepers of the curriculum, gay content, just to get it off my conscience. And I can remember being stonewalled in a way that it made me think it was a lost cause,” he said. Even now, although Sesame Street is openly supportive of the LGBTQ community, they’ve explicitly denied that Bert and Ernie are gay.

In a tweet from Sesame Workshop, they wrote that Bert and Ernie are just best friends. “Even though they are identified as male characters and possess human traits and characteristics….they do remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.

We’re going to side with Saltzman on this one for now. Hopefully one day soon we’ll get a real romance storyline for the two BFFs.


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