Bert and Ernie Gay Rumor: Settled

Fozzie Bear

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2002
Messages
13,380
Reaction score
144
I get a little moody when fans still as or question this. Seriously, what children's show have you ever known to touch on that topic? They haven't even touched on parents who smoke around asthmatic children.

In 1993, I got the Official Statement from (then) Children's Television Workshop.

We'll keep this topic in this thread ONLY please, as we who are fans know it was a rumor. It isn't discussed on Sesame Street, and you know my rule as a moderator: if it's said on SS, TMS, or FR then I'll allow it here on MC. Any discussion about it outside this thread is illegal.

Part of what they sent me includes a statement about the rumor that Ernie was going to be retired from the show.

So, what's wrong with characters remaining innocent and showing that, no matter how different you are, you can be friends with each other.

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z24/muleytmule/Other Stuff/EBGayStatement1.jpg

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z24/muleytmule/Other Stuff/EBGayStatement2.jpg

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z24/muleytmule/Other Stuff/EBGayStatement3.jpg

Edited to add:

I've read the following posts in this thread. To emphasize, I won't allow any prejudice or judgement in this thread. Everyone has a right to their opinion. Any bshing does eual a suspension.

I've seen comparisons where Laurel & Hardy r the 3 Stooges are mentioned sharing a bed, and no one's mentioned Looney Tunes characters dressing in drag or Chaplin's insulting his foe males with a kiss.

Ultimately, the representation of what the story is or the characters are will lie only in the 'eye of the beholder,' and what works to the means to define one's own walk of life. That is an acceptible answer and appreciated by me who appreciates everyone individually.
 

frogboy4

Inactive Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2002
Messages
10,082
Reaction score
358
I see YES and NO as the correct, yet "unofficial" answer

All Muppets are abstractions of humanity. That's clearly always been the intention since the very beginning with Sam & Friends.
:stick_out_tongue: :frown:
Therefore, those of us gay folk who relate the nature of Bert and Ernie as a gay couple aren't wrong. We see the bits and pieces that strike a chord with us. In the same spirit, straight folk who see their plutonic friendships through the characters are just as correct. This is what I liken to the Muppet Rorschach Test. It's how the Muppets have always been and to deny that is to deny ourselves. And for people to use the Muppets as a divisive tool denies the very spirit of the Muppets.

What I find disturbing is that this matters at all to people. It shouldn't. People from all walks of life work with the Muppets and the fans know no limits either. Earlier this week talk show host Chris Matthews remarked how he forgot that our President was black half-way through what he felt was a stirring State of the Union speech. His intention was that the stature of the man and the passion in his words were universal. Of course that's debatable and I won't go into that content. The fact is it didn't matter to him what color our President is. It was a "look how far we've come!" moment that turned into a "why should it matter what perceived color he is?" moment.

Prejudice is ingrained into every single one of us. It's shaped by our lives and environment. We all come from somewhere different. If there's anything the Muppets have taught us it's that we should respect one another and delight in our differences.

Sesame Street's characters were created to entertain kids and the adults attending to them too. This was very important to the performers in the early years. Many of the post-Jim statements are odd to me because Sesame Workshop representatives seem to have forgotten that. We've all heard differing reports from performers and other staff over the years, but in the end...why does it even matter? I will choose to see myself in Ernie and a particular past partner in Bert. Ultimately they're just very colorful puppets for frog's sake. :smile:
 

Drtooth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
31,722
Reaction score
6,567
Here's what I say...

There's a difference between a playful joke or rumor thrown together by drunken college students (there's enough funny rumors and jokes about Scooby-Doo alone for 30 Family Guy cut-a-ways alone), and the mindless rumblings from an angry group using the same cut to conclusions thinking to spread their hateful rhetoric. I don't get offended when someone jokingly says "oh, those Ernie and Bert dudes are so gay." but I get furious when some group claims that "Ernie and Bert are gay, and that's trying to brainwash our children into being tolerant!" It's that group that turned a goofy little joke into something far sinister.

As what I think? No. Bert is far too anal retentive to be able to stick with a woman (think Jon Arbuckle), and Ernie's stuck in a state of perpetual childhood... Arrested Development... Peter Pan complex... whatever you want to call it.

Now... :confused: and :eek: I wonder about. Especially that scene at the end of LTS. :big_grin:
 

frogboy4

Inactive Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2002
Messages
10,082
Reaction score
358
I don't get offended when someone jokingly says "oh, those Ernie and Bert dudes are so gay." but I get furious when some group claims that "Ernie and Bert are gay, and that's trying to brainwash our children into being tolerant!" It's that group that turned a goofy little joke into something far sinister.
Am I reading that wrong or are you saying that tolerance is a sinister idea. I must be reading that wrong. :stick_out_tongue:

Now manipulation is terrible. I hate that.
 

RedPiggy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
5,125
Reaction score
399
There are people who believe tolerance is just another word for "sinnin' up a storm an' likin' it".

I can see both concepts about Ernie and Bert. While I personally don't think they are, I found Rod and Nicky to be rather spot on, LOL. However, as others have noted, it really shouldn't matter, particularly in a universe where a frog can be in love with a pig, a weirdo can love a chicken, and human guest/co-stars can flirt with Muppets and no one bats an eye. It's an argument I made in That Diamond Ring Turns Brass -- there's simply far too much diversity in the Muppetverse to gripe about this.
 

frogboy4

Inactive Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2002
Messages
10,082
Reaction score
358
There are people who believe tolerance is just another word for "sinnin' up a storm an' likin' it".

I can see both concepts about Ernie and Bert. While I personally don't think they are, I found Rod and Nicky to be rather spot on, LOL. However, as others have noted, it really shouldn't matter, particularly in a universe where a frog can be in love with a pig, a weirdo can love a chicken, and human guest/co-stars can flirt with Muppets and no one bats an eye. It's an argument I made in That Diamond Ring Turns Brass -- there's simply far too much diversity in the Muppetverse to gripe about this.
I've heard some television preachers claim that culture has altered the definition of tolerance into one of enforced-acceptance, but tolerance is still technically defined the same way it has always been - a do unto others sort of attitude. Tolerance is how we all get along without having to forsake our beliefs. That's still a good thing no matter what some particular televangelists say.

Hey, San Francisco even tolerated those terrible Phelps people who hate everybody when they were picketing gays and Jews last week. They're the same folk that picket soldiers' funerals with strange and horribly judgemental signs. Now *that's* tolerance I just don't have.

I don't believe everyone can get along, but I do believe that most of us can if we choose to.

Back to Sesame Street. Looking at all this archived material during the aniversary has reminded me just how much of the show's edges have been sanded down over the years. I really wish they'd go back to how things were. The Street is still a cool place, but it used to be far better.
 

Drtooth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
31,722
Reaction score
6,567
Am I reading that wrong or are you saying that tolerance is a sinister idea. I must be reading that wrong. :stick_out_tongue:
No no no! I'm talking about the evil groups that whine about people "forcing" tolerance down their kids throats, so they can keep their kids fearful and ignorant and tools of the leaders of these organizations.

People that manipulate kid's programming to scare parents into believing their backwards agenda of hatred, fear and control.
 

Super Scooter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2002
Messages
6,257
Reaction score
108
... Has a heterosexual relationship ever been depicted in the puppets of Sesame Street? I don't think it has, other than with more adult characters like Oscar and the Count.

To me, Ernie and Bert are first of all puppets, second of all, kids. They're just kids. If Ernie had a girlfriend, that would be wrong to me, because it would seem out of character. If Ernie and Bert were a "couple," that would feel wrong to me as well. Again, it's out of character. I don't think I could see either of them pursuing a romantic relationship with anyone or with each other. It would be a mistake if Sesame Workshop ever attempted it (which I'm sure they wouldn't).

:stick_out_tongue::frown:
 

Drtooth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
31,722
Reaction score
6,567
... Has a heterosexual relationship ever been depicted in the puppets of Sesame Street? I don't think it has, other than with more adult characters like Oscar and the Count.
Well... that does bring up an interesting point. The only times I've seen puppet relationships, they were ALL adult characters, mostly soap opera parody and songs and stuff like that. I mean, there is clearly a hinted chemistry between Zoe and Elmo in the sort of, they're friends now, but they'll grow into something more when they're theoretically older (it's pretty strongly hinted at in EIG, to me anyway). But the only time I recall seeing a kid muppet in love was when Elmo had a crush on Gina. And that was about it.
 
Top