“Sesame Street” Says Ernie and Bert are Not Gay!
In response to an online petition calling for the marriage of the ostensibly male puppet stars of “Sesame Street” Ernie and Bert, the producers of the show released this 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…they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.
This drew both praise and criticism amongst Facebook followers. Here’s a sampling. Some saw the “Sesame Street” statement as a reason to cheer:
THANK YOU!! BEST NEWS ALL DAY!! – Justin ‘Justloco’ Vidal
Some were more introspective:
I’m 100% committed to equality for all, but this was a silly, trivial campaign that put Sesame Street in an extraordinarily unfair dilemma. Thanks for defusing in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone, especially Sesame Street. — Daniel de Simone.
I would love to see a gay couple in a kids show because for those kids that feel different they would find comfort in seeing that they are not alone. — Andy Valencia
Some saw it as a moral issue:
Morally I disagree with having a homosexual character on a children’s TV show, much as I would disagree with having a character that was obviously religious (and I mean even Christian, and I am a Christian) because other than saying they went to church or temple, its crossing a line when you are talking to millions of children who are different religions. — Rachel Valentine
Some found it silly:
Its a bunch of puppets for goodness sake. They are obviously not trying to corrupt young minds….its being interpreted incorrectly by closed minded rapture freaks is all. The more time and discussion we give these idiots the more power we give them. Have you not seen whats on the cartoon network, tv, movies, youtube etc? Surely all the violence and twisted darkness children are exposed to is worse than sex and orientation which is a perfectly healthy and natural human expression? Of course parents and not the media should be able to inform there children but they are gonna discover it on their own anyways. They just need guidance and not petitions 🙂 — Brynley Ron Coatzee
Some saw it as all about love:
[S]exual orientation is about love as much as it is about sex. Children shouldn’t be shielded from love, and most of the time they aren’t – the majority of children have a pair of parents who love or claim to love each other. Even if they have a single parent, they’ll have family or family friends in committed relationships. That’s seen as totally normal. Unfortunately, a lot of kids aren’t raised with gay couples as part of their community, and so aren’t taught that alternatives types of love can be acceptable. Being gay isn’t about how or with whom you have sex so much as whom you love. I’m not saying we should teach our kids about ANYBODY’S sexual behaviours until they’re old enough, but love shouldn’t be seen as a political football. It’s a healthy part of life. — Elizabeth Matter
Others saw it as all about sex:
This is so incredibly ridiculous. It has nothing to do with gay marriage and/or LGBT civil rights, and has everything to do with “adults” being asinine and sexualizing fictional characters on a children’s television show. Way to be creepy and waste everyone’s time, thanks. — Adel Zeller
And yet others begged to differ:
Gay people getting married and raising a family together isn’t sexualizing anything.
I don’t remember ever wondering how Gordon and Susan “do it.”
My daughter has never once asked me how Maria and Luis “do it.”
And most people, children included, don’t see couples walking hand-in-hand down a street with their kids and wonder how they have sex. — Ian Brumberger
What do you think? Share you thoughts in the comments section.