Frank Oz, the famed puppeteer who collaborated with Jim Henson for many years developing beloved characters, is pushing back against Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman’s claim that Bert and Ernie are gay.
It seems Mr. Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay. It's fine that he feels they are. They're not, of course. But why that question? Does it really matter? Why the need to define people as only gay? There's much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness.
— Frank Oz (@TheFrankOzJam) September 18, 2018
The Sesame Street world was rocked this week when Saltzman claimed that Ernie and Bert were lovers.
“I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were [gay]. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them,” Saltzman told Queerty.
Sesame Street tweeted a quick denial after that news broke.
Oz has a very good point. There is much more to a person than their sexuality, something that has been completely lost to the left for a very long time now. Further, the constant need to sexualize children’s entertainment is twisted and needs to stop. Sesame Street is a show for preschoolers. Do preschoolers really need to know about anyone’s sexuality? Most of us were under the impression Sesame Street was about learning numbers and letters and how to be kind to one another. In fact, Bert and Ernie were created to teach children about friendships and sharing and caring for one another. Sesame Street is one of the last escapes from the sexually saturated environment that is 2018.
Saltzman’s confession smacks of J.K. Rowling’s decision to let everyone know years after her series was finished that Professor Dumbledore was gay in her mind. Unfortunately for her, she left that bouncing around in her head and never put it on the page, so everyone was left baffled by their impression of a beloved character that didn’t fit her description. If anything, Dumbledore seemed too busy to be bothered with any dating or marriage issues. The man was battling ultimate evil and running all over the place hiding horcruxes. Similarly, Bert and Ernie’s storylines had nothing to do with sexuality but were clearly about friendship. If they were gay in Saltzman’s head, he never let anyone else in on that fact by writing it into the script. And if it’s not in the script, then it never happened.
The bigger question that needs to be asked is, why do so many LGBTQ activists insist on making sure that children’s characters are “diverse” with gayness? Why is this necessary? The most important thing in writing for children is that you make their role models kind, caring, considerate, and fun. Sexuality should never enter into the discussion for preschoolers. What adults project onto beloved characters are their own biases. But Bert and Ernie have taught children for decades about being a good friend. And that’s good enough.
The gay brigade is not taking Oz’s announcement on Twitter very well, but he’s right. People are more than straight or gay. They are funny or smart or evil or myopic. They have likes and dislikes that aren’t tied to what they do in bed and it’s getting extremely boring and insulting to continue to see people through narrow definitions of identity politics instead of seeing them for who they are. Gay is not who you are, it’s just what you like in bed and frankly, no one wants to hear about that. Tell us something interesting about yourself instead. What’s more interesting than what gives you an orgasm is what you think makes a good friend. And Ernie and Bert can answer that one better than anyone.