Online Campaign Calls for Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie to Marry
Only weeks after New York became the sixth, and largest state in the US to legalize same-sex marriage, Change.org is urging the producers of “Sesame Street” (which takes place in a fictional New York neighborhood) to have Bert and Ernie tie the knot.
Bert and Ernie are just friends. Period.
[The characters] were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves,” Sesame Workshop wrote in a published statement. “The show has been revolutionary in teaching children about important and often difficult issues like death, race, and self-esteem.”
The Statement went on to reiterate, “Even though the Sesame Street Muppets…possess many human traits and characteristics, they have no sexual orientation.”
Change.org claims to be promoting the movement to facilitate acceptance, discourage homophobia, and says it is not asking the children’s show to do anything disrespectful. At the time of this writing, the petition has fewer than 1,000 supporters.
Through the years, the show has artfully navigated cultural shifts, and has even introduced an HIV positive Muppet. In my mind, though, this crosses a line. Although I personally support the rights of gay and lesbian individuals and couples, I’m not in favor of altering the formula, or giving orientation to these iconic characters.