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It's been a hot topic--whether Bert and Ernie are gay. Sesame Street answers the debate after a Facebook petition pushes for Muppet Marriage. The puppets are just friends and (long-term) roommates, not gay. They're not 'straight' either--nor bisexual or transgender. They cannot marry, claims Sesame Street, since they've got no sexual orientation. Well, someone better tell that to the Cookie Monster who got himself busted as a sex offender in Ohio. But that's another story.
Why the blockade against Bert and Ernie enjoying marital bliss? Sesame Street Fans continue to argue that the Count's had girlfriends, Miss Piggy desires Kermit--and that South Africa has added an HIV-positive character on the show, so no one's excluded.
They could afford to be married. They really could. In every three years Sesame Street, despite being labeled a non-profit, rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars per year -- over $50 million dollars per year from toy-related sales alone. "Sesame Workshop" rakes in about another $140 million per year. Bert and Ernie are prominent guys -- in fact some might even argue their the stars of the show. The two could enjoy quite a lavish lifestyle together. So why aren't they married after all these years of living together? Quite possibly because it's Sesame Street, the company, that couldn't afford for them to be living together.
If people question why Bert and Ernie's sexual orientation is in dire need of being addressed at this point, it all boils down to a petition recently received by the Sesame Street TV show. It seems to be one powerful petition: Thousands demanded an answer of sorts, with over 9,000 people signing the document which requests the Sesame Street roommates marry: "We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful by allowing Bert and Ernie to marry," says the petition. "It [potential marriage] can be done in a tasteful way. Let us teach tolerance of those that are different. Let Sesame Street and PBS Kids be a big part in saving many worthy lives."
It's been a lot of pressure for the children's show devoted to teaching kids the stuff that matters. But the TV show couldn't exactly ignore the petition forever either. On August 10, 2011, Sesame Street made the announcement after an online campaign via Facebook began a push for the pair of Muppets to marry.
Sesame Street's made the 'Bert and Ernie not marrying' announcement via its Facebook fan page, with an official statement that was apparently intended to end the matter: "Bert and Ernie are best friends. They [Bert and Ernie] 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."
Puppets? Here everyone was under the impression they were special 'Muppets' -- but now we find out they're nothing more than puppets. How disappointing.
If the the Sesame Street announcement was intended to end the sexual orientation question of Bert and Ernie, the eternal roommates, it has not. In fact the newest announcement has sparked some serious debate -- with some major arguments on both sides of the gay or hetero debate: "Muppets do not have sexual orientation?" wrote Sesame Street Facebook fan Sharkey Violet. "So all along Miss Piggy was after Kermit for his frog legs for supper?"
Miss Violet has kind of a good point.
Others, too, pointed out solid: "It just seems to me that you can't say puppets don't have a sexual orientation when there have been plenty of cases of hetero courtship on Sesame Street over the years," says Facebook fan Scott Hanson. "The Count has had several girlfriends, to name just one example."
Maybe the Count has special powers as a 'Muppet' -- while everyone else remains just a puppet.
"I don't agree with the Bert marrying Ernie part of the petition," says the show's Facebook fan Roy Hans. "But I do think it would be good to have an LGBT character on Sesame Street. In South Africa they added an HIV-positive character to the [Sesame Street program] to combat ignorance and exclusion."
Kudos to Ray -- not only for supporting the idea of openness and acceptance in society, but for bringing to light a little-known fact that would, in fact, seem to argue for at least a character addition.
Then there's those fans that seem to have missed Sesame Street and 'Schoolhouse Rock,' including its 'Grammar Rocks' and spelling episodes: "this is a kids show not tmz they are not people they are pupats," pipes in Michael Lucas Cummings.
Don't mess with 'pupats,' people. It seems 'Hooked on Phonics,' not Sesame Street, taught Michael to speak funetiklee.
But Michael's got nothing on Sesame Street's Facebook fan Andreya Lee Bryson: "DO NOT!!! I REPEAT!!! DO NOT MAKE THEM GET MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its okay if tinky winky from teletubies are gay! cause WE ALL saw that one comming! but NOT BERT AND ERNIE!!!!! THEY ARE STRAIGHT MALES!!!!!!!!!! THEY ARE ONLY BEST BUDS!!!!!!!! BFF'S!!!!!!!!!! DUDES!!! BRO'S!!! WHAT EVER YOU WANNA CALL IT!!!!! BUT THEY ARE NOT, GAY!!!! i NEVER saw them that way!!!!!!!!! growing up i always just thought of them as bff's or BEST BRO's FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!!! not, "bertie hunny, make me a glass of teaaaaaaaa."
For those able to decipher, it appears Andreya feels the Muppets should not be married -- not because they're Muppets, but apparently because no one saw it coming. Or at least she didn't. It's ok with Andreya if 'Tinky Winky' and 'Teletubbies' (aka, 'teletubies') are gay, though 'Barney' seems to have been completely forgotten. There's been rumors about that purple creature for a very long time. Perhaps Andreya just considers Barney so obviously gay that the subject isn't even worth mention. After all, he's purple -- and just look at the way he walks, and bounces.
Something says any possibly gay child in Andreya's future better speak up quickly -- like before age 5. It seems Andreya has a serious reaction to things she didn't see coming.
Sesame Street's Facebook comment-of-the-day award goes to fan Holly Martin, who says: "Thank you! Let's keep them as just Bert and Ernie! They have been around and brought so much laughter and happiness to so many children for so long, including my son! This whole sexual orientation thing is ludacris and just plain wrong!"
Apparently mom hasn't been enjoying those shows quite as much as her kids. Rapper 'Ludacris' probably didn't know he was, literally, the "whole sexual orientation thing" -- "and just plain wrong".