MIAMI (CBS4) — Bert and Ernie have been teaching South Florida kids for decades about friendship on Sesame Street, but could they be more than just friends? An online petition is calling for the cohabitating puppet duo to get married.
More than 4,000 people have signed the petition on the website Change.org.
“Let Bert & Ernie Get Married On Sesame Street” says that the move would teach tolerance and acceptance to the shows young viewers.
“We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful. Only that they allow Bert & Ernie to marry or even add a transgender character to the show. It can be done in a tasteful way. Let us teach tolerance of those that are different. Let Sesame Street and PBS Kids be a big part in saving many worthy lives,” wrote Lair Scott of Oak Park, Il., who originated the petition.
Sesame Workshop responded in a statement: “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.” And despite what Scott or anyone else thinks, the statement goes on to say, Bert and Ernie aren’t gay. “Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics…they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”
In the past when the issue has come up, the show’s creators have said Bert and Ernie are just friends, and as puppets do not exist below the waist.