Bert and Ernie Gay Marriage? PBS Says No, They’re Puppets

    August 11, 2011
    Josh Wolford

Who would have believed this? Apparently, suggesting that characters from America’s favorite children’s show should form a homosexual union sparks a lively debate. Go figure.

Yesterday, an online petition emerged on popular petition site The petition ask supporters to sign in hopes that their voices could inspire the first on-air gay puppet marriage. “Let Bert & Ernie Get Married on Sesame Street” sent the internet into a frenzy yesterday and it doesn’t seem to be dying down at all.

We told you about the petition yesterday, and in that article we discussed the various motivators behind such a petition. Of course, the rumor of Bert & Ernie as a gay couple has been around for decades. Two men living together for years with no spouses, sharing a room together? Best friends or lovers – you decide.

The people behind the petition said that the marriage would do wonders to educated America’s children about tolerance and to show LGBT kids that “they are beautiful and their lives are worth living.”

Comments that we received fell all over the spectrum. Some asked whether or not children that young understand sexuality and gender preference. Others said that it was the parents’ job to teach tolerance. One commenter suggested that Sesame Street simply needs to give the two their own rooms to quell the rumor.

In the wake of all of the public comment about the petition, Sesame Workshop, the non-profit behind Sesame Street, issued a statement on their Facebook page. Sesame Workshop has issued statements on this issue before, saying that Bert & Ernie are puppets, not humans, and sexual orientation shouldn’t come into the discussion.

Seasame Street’s Twitter account linked to the Facebook statement –

Here’s @SesameWorkshop‘s statement on the Bert and Ernie petitions 3 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Here’s the official statement –

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.

Pretty much echoes all previous statements. It’s important to note, I guess, that saying they have “no sexual orientation” still isn’t the same as saying they are heterosexual.

Bert & Ernie is a trending topic on Twitter. Check out some reaction –

PBS says Bert & Ernie are puppets, don’t have a sexual orientation. I’ll accept. Grounds? Prospect of sexual Big Bird is terrifying. 41 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

If Bert & Ernie want to live as domestic partners in a super fab rent controlled studio together on Sesame Street who are we to judge? 12 minutes ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto

Sesame Street issued statement that Bert & Ernie are not gay, but that even their young viewers know Marcus Bachmann is. 1 minute ago via web · powered by @socialditto

still mad that there’s a petition for Bert & Ernie to get married. IT’S A KIDS SHOW dammit. Leave Sesame Street alone. 3 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

At the time of my article yesterday the petition had about 1,500 signatures. As of right now it has about 5,500.

What do you think about all of this? Let us know in the comments.