Bert and Ernie were modeled after gay couple, ex-writer confirms

A former writer for “Sesame Street” added fuel to a longtime rumor with his claim that characters Bert and Ernie were representative of a gay couple.

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In fact, Mark Saltzman said the puppets were at least in part based on him and his boyfriend, Arnold Glassman.

“I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were,” he said. “I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie and I as ‘Bert and Ernie.'”

The official statement from the show’s creators remains the same as ever, though.

“As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends,” a Sesame Workshop statement revealed. “They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves.”

The statement went on to explain that “they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”

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