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Sesame Street says Bert and Ernie are just friends and 'don't have a sexual orientation'

The comments come after a former writer for the show recently said he considered them to be gay.

Sesame Street Muppets Bert and Ernie
Sesame Street Muppets Bert and Ernie
Image: DPA/PA Images

SESAME WORKSHOP, THE organisation behind Sesame Street has said that characters Bert and Ernie “do not have a sexual orientation” after a former writer for the show recently said he considered them to be gay. 

Former writer Mark Saltzman, who worked for Sesame Street, made his comments during an interview with Queerty

“I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were [gay],” Saltzman said.

“I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie & I as ‘Bert & Ernie’,” he said, referring to his own partner.

He added: “So I don’t think I’d know how else to write them, but as a loving couple.”

However, this evening to Sesame Workshop has refuted Saltzman’s view on the characters. 

“As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends,” the statement said. 

It said that the characters 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,” it said. 

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