Sesame Street pair Bert and Ernie 'will not marry'

 
Bert and Ernie Bert and Ernie have lived together for more than 40 years

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The makers of Sesame Street say characters Bert and Ernie will not marry in a same-sex ceremony despite an online petition calling for the union.

Campaigners say the best friends should marry as a way to encourage tolerance of gay people.

Nearly 7,000 have signed the petition, with more than 3,000 joining a Bert and Ernie Get Married Facebook page.

A statement from the show's makers said: "They remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation."

But they conceded that the pair are "male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics".

The confirmed bachelors have lived together for 40 years and sleep in the same bedroom, albeit in single beds.

"Bert and Ernie are best friends," the statement from Sesame Workshop added. "They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves.

The online petition states: "We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful," adding, "It can be done in a tasteful way. Let us teach tolerance of those that are different."

Sesame Street was created by TV producer Joan Ganz Cooney and psychologist Lloyd Morrisett in 1969 and gained a huge following, led by the creations of master puppeteer Jim Henson.

Beloved characters include Elmo, the Cookie Monster and Big Bird.

It is still watched in more than 140 countries and averages 120 million viewers worldwide.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 282.

    @277 - srhaworth

    Believe I said "...okay to have the same sexual preferences...", just as these people are about themselves. Work it out

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 281.

    When I was a kid, I watched Sesame Street, and it NEVER occurred to me that Bert and Ernie were anything but friends who shared a home. Kids take things at face value. I'm glad to hear that Sesame Street producers won't entertain this ridiculous request, just to satisfy a small number of outraged pc wingnuts.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 280.

    There are good reasons why we don't allow children to smoke, or drink, or drive, or vote, or have sex, or go to war. As a group, they're just not ready for it yet. They don't have the same reasoning skills and experience as adults. They can't absorb the whole world in the first 5 years of their lives. How 'bout let's teach them to read BEFORE we start the sociology classes, okay?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 279.

    275. Robert Philpot
    4 MINUTES AGO
    Eric (Morecambe) and Ernie (Wise) used to sleep in the same bed. I don't believe there was ever a campaign for them to unite - how times change!
    --
    Possibly because they were real people who were married (to women) in real life & the public could generally work out fact from fiction. The fact that gay marriage was unthinkable in the 70's MIGHT be a factor too.

  • Comment number 278.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 277.

    @Muppet_Master

    Whose mentioning sex? No one is. This isn't about sex its about the different shapes and sizes that families come in and letting our children know that just becuase they have one mum (or two dads for that matter) that their family is just as important and that it is the love in the family that is the most important thing. Perhaps it is you who shouls stop thinking about sex...?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 276.

    Comment number 20.Doublejstone:
    Other than Kermit & Miss Piggy I cannot think of any other Muppets that are married or in relationships. Friendship, sorting out your differences ha always been the lesson taught

    - - - Well there was the thing with Gonzo and the chicken but maybe best not to go there!!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 275.

    Eric (Morecambe) and Ernie (Wise) used to sleep in the same bed. I don't believe there was ever a campaign for them to unite - how times change!

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 274.

    Has it occurred to anyone that perhaps Bert and Ernie are doing more to further tolerance than if they were openly gay? They are friends sharing a home; no one mentions their sexuality, their colour, their heights, their (frankly peculiar) physical characteristics, they deal with them for what and who they are. Shouldn't that be how we want our children to treat everyone?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 273.

    For goodness' sake, we're talking abot pre-school children here

    If I started 'demanding' we tell young kids it's okay to have the same sexual preferences as myself, then I'd be on the sex offenders register before I'd finished saying it - for 'grooming'

    Why do a certain minority think that their own perspective is any more valid than others? Only themselves, obviousely

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 272.

    @Lancashire Lyndsey - but surely then Miss Piggy and Kermit teach children to sexualise their platonic opposite sex friendships then? Not to mention make them abusive! Come on, lets be senisible have some consistency please.....

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 271.

    Oh please stop it. I was brought up with these two and i'm forty five now. It never even occured to me that they would be in a relationship, then and even up to the point when i just read this. Why do two men sharing a flat have to be married? Why do they have to be gay? Why can't they just find life easier not having women in their life? Or both go out pulling a couple of birds!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 270.

    Children obviously need to learn about sexuality at some point in there lives but I don't believe this is appropriate for Sesame Streets targeted aged range whether its heterosexual or homosexual relationships.

    Sesame Street offers fun learning without prejudice of any kind and without a political agenda, long may it continue.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 269.

    14.mcsony
    "Reading the comments so far I find it fascinating just how terrrified people still are of homosexuality."

    I'm not afraid of homosexuality, what I do object to is the sexualisation of characters in a show aimed at pre-school children - hetero or homo!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 268.

    May I suggest that the people who signed the petition could get together and create their own YouTube channel with a couple of characters like Bert & Ernie who where married. You know rather than trying to force their political agenda on the writers of this program?

  • rate this
    +21

    Comment number 267.

    Using this logic shouldn't Laurel & Hardy have been married? They even shared the same bed for pity sake.

    What a lot of fuss about nothing!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 266.

    @r3loaded and others

    Children's TV has always been educational, I'm surprised that so many on here have forgotten that. Even Fairy Tales (pardon the pun) have moral lessons in them. Sesame Street teaches children valuable lessons and delivers them in format they can relate to, its not just the vacant fluffy fun you think it is (or wish it to be).

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 265.

    Maybe in an ideal world Big Bird would come out of the closet and Cookie Monster will go into rehab for his Cookie addiction problem. Oscar would recieve proper state funded health care for his depression and benefits to lift him out of poverty so he'll no longer have to live in a trashcan in the street.And Elmo would be placed in a foster home instead of wandering the streets alone.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 264.

    I'm a gay man. No gay people I know supported this. Please do not think all gay people have this alleged gay agenda to make the world 100% gay.

    This online petition gained momentum thanks to an article in the right wing biased Washington Post newspaper. I think the petition was started by someone like the Tea Party crazies to make gay people look bad. Don't blame gay people for this please.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 263.

    Insane - why don't we teach children to sexualise their innocent childhood friendships. I'm sure it won't do any harm. Duh.

 

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