1. breckroy says

    I always thought the inclusive beauty of Bert and Ernie were that they could be whatever you wanted/needed them to be. For a gay person, they held a certain iconic status as partners, and a positive view of a no-big-deal gay couple you could even present to children. For straight people, they could also be that, or they could just be roommates. Heck, if you were a child with gay parents, they could be something “like your parents” on TV.

    I don’t like that gay people (if indeed it was gay activists and not conservative ones trying to stir up an issue that wasn’t at issue) tried to advocate SESAME STREET to “formally” recognize it and give Bert and Ernie “a wedding” now that it was legal in NY (where Sesame Street is located), and I don’t like that conservative activists occasionally condemn CTW for no reason–as if they were pushing a gay agenda.

    Going on the record one way or another (I doubt the interview above was an “official” Kermit spouting an “official” CTW/Henson/Disney line) as gay OR straight, is helpful. It destroys one of the great things about Bert and Ernie–the ambiguity that allowed for inclusion of all children and people. Saying they are “straight” is no better (albeit safer) than saying they are “gay.”

    I like the “official” response which was that puppets have no sexual orientation. Note Henson/Disney/CTW did not say they were straight–they said they were puppets and had no sexual orientation. Truthfully, I just wish anyone speaking for/calling for an official statement/confirmation of this matter would just stop. What it was was good for us. A bickering ridiculousness about whether they are gay or straight that makes them an official icon for gay people/a pariah and source of boycotts and diministed screen time for conservative activists, isn’t.

  2. says

    @BRECKROY: in some respects I agree with you: let Bert and Ernie be an ambiguously gay duo. OTOH, to say that Muppets have no sexual orientation is just disingenuous: Miss Piggy and Kermit do. I think it would be a good idea for Sesame Street to have some gay folks as part of the Street, just like they honor other aspects of diversity.

  3. Gregv says

    @David R: to be fair, they didn’t say that NO puppets have a sexual orientation, but just that Bert and Ernie are puppets and do not. They may have meant it in the same way they could have said that Bert is a puppet and has no nostrils, no age, no race, no job, no teeth, etc. None of that means that another puppet (like Kermit) can’t have an orientation (He’s into Miss Piggy) or a job (roving news reporter) or be depicted as having a particular age or ethnicity, etc.

  4. David B. says

    when straight people ask me “what’s a pushy bottom?” I say “Miss Piggy is a pushy bottom” and they get what I mean right away.