For those who don’t follow preschool-TV news, here’s what happened: Last week, an online petition called “Let Bert & Ernie Get Married on Sesame Street“ circulated. And it isn’t actually a joke — its inspiration comes from the same place as Dan Savage’s wildly successful, dead-serious It Gets Better project. “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,” writes creator Lair Scott on the petition’s site. It collected over 5500 signatures.
In the past several days, the campaign has gone viral, eliciting pro and con arguments from every corner of the Internet. The noise has grown so loud that Sesame Workshop has finally decided to respond. In a statement on their Facebook page, the Sesame Street team writes, “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.” Listen, we don’t really have an opinion on whether Bert and Ernie should or shouldn’t be depicted as gay. But the idea that Muppets are, by nature, asexual? Please. Tell that to Miss Piggy. [via Slate]