Friday, August 12, 2011

Enough with the "Bert and Ernie are gay" meme, already!

One of the dumbest trending topics on Facebook since marriage equality came to New York has been the suggestion that Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie should get married. There have been website petitions and email campaigns demanding that the two long time companions come out once and for all and make honest Muppets  of each other. To those people I say, "get a fucking life!"

This pointless campaign has become such an annoyance, that even the producers of Sesame Street could no longer ignore it and have released a statement proclaiming that Bert and Ernie are not gay, not that there's anything wrong with that. Yahoo! News reports:
Bert and Ernie are not gay.
That is, according to "Sesame Street," which released an official statement on the matter on Thursday responding to an online campaign calling for the pair to be married.
"Bert and Ernie are best friends," the statement posted on Sesame Street's Facebook page reads. "They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves."
The statement continues: "Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."
Maybe it's just me, but it's really annoying when so-called activists go off on a tangent for no logical reason. Bert and Ernie are puppets. They are meant to entertain and teach toddlers about getting along with people. Sure it would be great if Sesame Street had some out gay characters, but we're not talking about Avenue Q, the Broadway knock off of The Muppet Show that had two of its puppets get married a couple of weeks ago.

Bert and Ernie are room mates and follow in the great tradition of comedy teams like Laurel and Hardy, Martin and Lewis, Abbott and Costello, Chandler and Joey, The Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers, who were depicted on screen as sharing living spaces -- and often the same bed -- without anybody raising an eyebrow about it. Are we really so desperate as a movement that we have to crap all over a kiddie show? Is that really progress?

This whole stupid and sophomoric exercise just plays right into the hands of the haters who accuse us of wanting to recruit kids. Maybe some day Sesame Street will portray a gay couple raising kids, either in Muppet form or human, but if they do, it will be because the timing and the social climate is right for it. We're almost there, but apparently, not quite. I'm okay with that, for now.

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