'Sesame Street' Bert Gay? How Ernie Found Out

Andrew Dalton

bert and ernieJokes about Bert and Ernie and their interesting living situation, and Big Bird and his fey ways have been around for decades. But recently Sesame Street has some folks' gay-dar going off the charts. This Tweet from Bert changed the conversation from murmur to chatter.

Ever notice how similar my hair is to Mr. T’s? The only difference is mine is a little more ‘mo,’ a little less ‘hawk.’

Seems like a bit of a stretch to call that coming out -- 'mo' means 'homo' in some circles, I assume. But he could have just been coming out as Mormon, which could also explain his living situation. Though he and Ernie never wear black and white. You know, like Mormons do.

The Los Angeles Times says it's definitely not on purpose:

In their 31 years on Sesame Street, they've never marched in a Pride parade or plastered a rainbow sticker on Oscar the Grouch's trash can. Sesame Workshop has always contended that they're just friends who happen to live together and sleep side by side in well-tailored pajamas.

But the speculation is brewing. First, there was the show's True Blood takeoff -- nothing gayer than vampires, of course. That and the show has gay characters and fans. Then the appearance of out entertainers like Wanda Sykes and Neil Patrick Harris (who played the "Shoe Fairy" in one appearance), then Black Eyed Pea Will.i.am singing a song called "What I Am" about accepting who you really are.  

Again, seems like a stretch -- akin to being convinced that the new co-worker must be gay because he's too old, cute, and neat to be just a single straight man.

Ellen Lewis, the show's vice president, says there has been no direct appeal to gay viewers, saying that the gay interpretation of the current season "never crossed our minds."

"We've always reached out to a variety of actors and athletes and celebrities to appear on the show, and our programming has always appealed to adults as much as children," she says.

Even the recent Katy Perry cleavage kerfuffle has been interpreted as a good sign:

Michael Jensen, editor in chief of AfterElton.com (where they had a nice follow-up on the topic this week), says:

The fact that more people have objected to Katy Perry's cleavage than they have to the True Blood spoof shows how far we've come in this gay rights movement.

I'll second that as a good sign, regardless of which way the traffic on Sesame Street is heading.

What do you think? Much ado about nothing?


Image via Sesame Street

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