Frank Oz Weighs In On Whether or Not “Sesame Street’s” Bert and Ernie Are Gay

The decades-old discussion over the puppets' relationship was brought up after comments by writer Mark Saltzman.

bert and ernie
Bert and Ernie visit SiriusXM Studios on November 9, 2017 in New York City. (Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)
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Director and producer Frank Oz, the voice of dozens of puppets and muppets and one of Jim Henson’s earliest collaborators, has chimed in to the debate over whether or not Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie are gay.

The decades-old discussion over the nature of Bert and Ernie’s relationship, who shared a basement apartment but slept in different beds, was brought up again after former Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman told blog Queerty that he wrote the duo as a couple based on his own real world relationship with film editor Arnold Glassman, according to NBC News.

But Oz shut that idea down, tweeting, “I created Bert. I know what and who he is.”

Oz continued to go back and forth with Twitter users who asked why the puppets couldn’t be gay.

Sesame Workshop, which produces Sesame Street, originally said that the pair had no sexual orientation and that they were simply “best friends” but on Tuesday, they changed their statement to say the show had always promoted inclusion.

Oz wrote on Twitter that in his mind, he couldn’t call Bert and Ernie gay because it wasn’t honest. But he wrote that he was happy people, regardless of sexual orientation, could see themselves in the characters.

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