For quite a long time, people wondered: Are Bert and Ernie gay? The iconic Sesame Street pair lived together, share a room, and have no problems with taking baths in front of each other.


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The ancient speculations began recirculating after a writer, Mark Saltzman, who is gay, said that the puppets were inspired by his same-sex relationship and that he considers them to be a “loving couple.”

“I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were” gay, the writer, Mark Saltzman, said in an interview with Queerty, a gay news and entertainment site. “I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them.”

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His remarks roared over the web, spreading both shock and happiness. “They’re official!!!!!” said one post, demonstrating a picture of a grinning Bert and Ernie wearing shimmering wedding bands. In any case, Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind the series immediately squashed the tumors, saying in an explanation that Bert and Ernie are “best friends” and, being that they are puppets, have no sexual orientation.

Mr. Saltzman, who was a writer for Sesame Street in the 1980s and ’90s, now says that his remarks were misconstrued.

He said that he and his partner, Arnold Glassman, who passed away in 2003, were much similar to Bert and Ernie, two opposites who attracted. “As a writer, you just bring what you know into your work,” he said in a phone interview on Tuesday night. As for Bert and Ernie, “they are two guys who love each other,” Mr. Saltzman said. “That’s who they are.”

Frank Oz, who made Bert and Ernie almost 50 years ago, said on Twitter on Tuesday that the characters were not gay.

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