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Not Bert and Ernie

August 11, 2011 - Steve Murch
USA Today has a story on a petitionto make Bert and Ernie gay characters on Sesame Street and have them get married. There also is a petition trying to make sure it doesn't happen.

Everybody knows Bert and Ernie. They've either grow up with them, had siblings who grew up with them, or had kids who grew up with them. Through the years there were always jokes because they are two men (and can we really call them men) who are best friends and live together. And Sesame Street has that “sunny day” vibe that “cool people” like to poke fun at.

Sesame Workshop, which owns Sesame Street, says it's not going to happen – no way, no how. And good for them. Not because gay characters shouldn't be on the show, but because to change the two characters at this point would serve as confusion for kids.

It would be much easier to introduce new characters who are gay and allow parents the chance to explain that to their kids. Even those who are intolerant likely would be able to explain it better than if Bert and Ernie suddenly became gay.

The real question should be if there is a need to have a gay character at all. None of the characters on the show are human, nor do they exist below the waist. And how many humans walk around with a hand up their back side – yes, plenty walk with a stick up it, but not a hand – so puppets don't need to used as gay characters.

Lair Scott, who started the petition, is meddling where he doesn't really need to be involved. Maybe he should just deal with trying to solve real-life problems and not worry about the sex lives of puppets.


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