Gay activism is pervading every area of the culture on an escalating level, extending more and more into the realm of children's entertainment. But there's an apparent outcome in the ongoing debate about "Sesame Street" and the beloved characters known as Bert and Ernie.
Now that a producer has laced an Anne of Green Gables remake with LGBT storylines and characters, Disney added a gay character to Beauty and the Beast, and Doc McStuffins ran a lesbian moms episode, revisionists have once again targeted the classic children's show "Sesame Street."
After all, a Canadian group just debuted a transgender puppet for kids, so one of the former "Sesame Street" writers is now saying he made Bert and Ernie gay too.
The man who's claiming it, Mark Saltzman, is openly gay himself, so he thinks of Bert and Ernie as being gay like him. He worked on the show during the 1980s and 90s, but he wasn't the creator of the characters.
His revelations about his attempts to make Bert and Ernie gay during his writing years forced the producers of "Sesame Street" to make a public statement about sexuality and puppets:
"As we have always 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."
That statement was issued on September 18, and was then pulled down from Twitter the next day. The Sesame Workshop clearly offended some people because they issued this followup statement, and left it posted on Twitter instead of the original statement:
Please see our most recent statement regarding Bert and Ernie below. pic.twitter.com/gWTF2k1y83
— Sesame Workshop (@SesameWorkshop) September 18, 2018
Meanwhile, Frank Oz, who served as the voice of "Bert" and worked with Jim Henson to help create the Muppets in the first place, has been drawn into the debate too, tweeting: "Jim and I never created them to be gay."
Oz continued: "It seems Mr. Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay... They're not, of course."
Aware that his comment could upset LGBT people in this increasingly hypersensitive and politically correct debate, Oz tweeted multiple times, taking careful steps not to hurt anyone's feelings.
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