In response to an online petition drive to have the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie married, the Sesame Street Workshop responded saying the two muppets are not gay. The pair, who are both male and have been longtime roommates are just friends, the statement said.
“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 (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation,” the statement read.
The online petition began to gather some influence with more than 5,000 signatures. The petition cited the positive influence having two openly gay characters on a children’s show could create.
“In this horrific age of LGBT kids taking their own lives, they need to know that they are beautiful and their lives are worth living. Aside from those that are committing suicide, the bullies that facilitate these tragedies need to learn that homophobia is not OK,” the petition said. “We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful. Only that they allow Bert & Ernie to marry or even add a transgender character to the show.”