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Old 09-18-2018, 05:19 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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Bert and Ernie still not gay

or maybe they are gay, depends on who you ask.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/18/enter...gay/index.html
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:26 PM
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Everybody knows that Bert is closeted and Ernie is straight.
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:34 PM
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In a statement, Sesame Workshop was prompted to address the famous puppets' relationship after a former writer for "Sesame Street" said his own relationship with another man inspired his writing of the characters.

"I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were [gay]," Mark Saltzman, who worked for the preschooler program for 15 years, told Queerty in an interview. "I didn't have any other way to contextualize them."
See, that's totally legit, but it doesn't mean that Bert and Ernie are themselves a (gay) couple. If he had said "My relationship with my brother inspired my writing of the characters," that wouldn't have meant that Ernie and Bert are siblings. If he had said "My parents' interactions with each other inspired my writing of the characters," that wouldn't prove that Ernie and Bert are an old married couple.

Didn't Sesame Street premiere not long after "The Odd Couple" came out? Couldn't Bert and Ernie have been inspired, at least a little bit, by Felix and Oscar?
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:09 PM
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Sesame street started a year after the odd couple movie and a year before the odd couple TV show.
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:18 PM
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I've been wanted to ask this question for years now, and now my hand has been forced. Sorry to thread-jack, but while the iron is hot:

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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
Sesame street started a year after the odd couple movie and a year before the odd couple TV show.
So, working with the premise that Bert and Ernie are a parody of the play and TV Show The Odd Couple, and Bert and Ernie are totally not gay even though everyone makes that comparison -- was the play meant to be a tongue in cheek depiction of a gay couple? Was there a gay subtext, in the TV show, that I missed? Don't tell me Tony Randal is flaming or something, I don't care about his mannerisms or what they mean or what they don't mean in his real life. I'm talking about Felix and Oscar -- were they meant to be gay, or as gay as was allowed in the media at that time, or some sort of commentary on gay culture of the time.
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Old 09-18-2018, 08:19 PM
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I'm guessing some people are desperate for this confirmation, and for the fact to be established for show's targeted viewers.
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Arkcon View Post
I've been wanted to ask this question for years now, and now my hand has been forced. Sorry to thread-jack, but while the iron is hot:



So, working with the premise that Bert and Ernie are a parody of the play and TV Show The Odd Couple, and Bert and Ernie are totally not gay even though everyone makes that comparison -- was the play meant to be a tongue in cheek depiction of a gay couple? Was there a gay subtext, in the TV show, that I missed? Don't tell me Tony Randal is flaming or something, I don't care about his mannerisms or what they mean or what they don't mean in his real life. I'm talking about Felix and Oscar -- were they meant to be gay, or as gay as was allowed in the media at that time, or some sort of commentary on gay culture of the time.
There are at least a couple of stories about the genesis of the original Neil Simon play, but the two I've heard both spring from actual anecdotes about (straight) friends of Simon who were temporarily staying with friends after they were divorced from their wives.
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Old 09-19-2018, 03:04 AM
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I've been wanted to ask this question for years now, and now my hand has been forced. Sorry to thread-jack, but while the iron is hot:
You're talking in code words but, yes, theirs was a hand-job only relationship. It's not gay if there's no kissing.
  #9  
Old 09-19-2018, 04:08 AM
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This is a pretty silly issue (I doubt there's textual support for a firm answer either way) but the "puppets...do not have a sexual orientation" dodge is a little annoying. There have been muppet characters portrayed as being in relationships that are implicitly heterosexual. It reminds me of how a gay couple holding hands on the sidewalk can get called out for shoving it in people's faces as twenty straight couples walk by unnoticed.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 09-19-2018 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 09-19-2018, 04:39 AM
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“Ban all PDA “ is a cause I can get behind.
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Old 09-19-2018, 06:03 AM
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In most countries, two friends living together is extremely common without any sexual element involved at all. You may as well ask if Chandler and Joey were gay.
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Old 09-19-2018, 06:28 AM
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The problem is that Sesame Street keeps freaking out about the possibility of them being gay. They could just not say anything, or say that it's okay however you see them. Instead, they constantly need to make it abundantly clear that anyone who thinks they are gay is wrong.

And it doesn't help that their official statement is nonsensical. Why would them being puppet characters mean they have no sexual orientation? And why in the world would it matter if they had "something below the waist," unless they were implying that genitals are what define sexuality?

It just seems stupid in an era where people are upset about gay erasure to go out of your way to say that anyone who thinks they are gay is wrong. A writer says he based them on a gay couple. Fine. Why does it bother Sesame Street so if people think they are gay?

Unless they plan on saying "we are straight" or "we are asexual" on screen, why does it matter?

Last edited by BigT; 09-19-2018 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 09-19-2018, 06:58 AM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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I would guess Sesame Street wants to avoid offending people who donate money to PBS , not all of whom are liberal.

BTW, since 2016 the first run episodes of Sesame Street are now on HBO and then go to PBS after that . All the pre-2016 episodes are still on PBS.
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:09 AM
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but the "puppets...do not have a sexual orientation" dodge is a little annoying. There have been muppet characters portrayed as being in relationships that are implicitly heterosexual.
That point is made here: Are Muppets Sexual?

Although that article makes the point that some of the Sesame Street muppets are, psychologically, children, and thus "should not be considered as belonging anywhere on an adult spectrum of sexuality." And IMHO Ernie and Bert might possibly belong to that category.

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The problem is that Sesame Street keeps freaking out about the possibility of them being gay. They could just not say anything, or say that it's okay however you see them. Instead, they constantly need to make it abundantly clear that anyone who thinks they are gay is wrong.
"Freaking out"? Is that really an accurate description of their reaction?

It's natural for them to be asked, and it's natural for them to give the Word of God answer when asked, which is that, no, they're not gay. And that to say that they are would be to sexualize something that is not sexual.
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:13 AM
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RE: Bert and Ernie still not gay

(It's taking longer than we thought.)
  #16  
Old 09-19-2018, 07:56 AM
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(It's taking longer than we thought.)
  #17  
Old 09-19-2018, 08:24 AM
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In most countries, two friends living together is extremely common without any sexual element involved at all. You may as well ask if Chandler and Joey were gay.
What? Of course they were. They were also heavy into beastiality.

You gotta read between the lines on some shows.
  #18  
Old 09-19-2018, 08:31 AM
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In most countries, two friends living together is extremely common without any sexual element involved at all. You may as well ask if Chandler and Joey were gay.
To play devil's advocate, Chandler and Joey didn't share a bedroom.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:24 AM
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Anyone who thinks puppets are not sexual has never heard of Avenue Q.
  #20  
Old 09-19-2018, 11:59 AM
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When I read that some writer who started on the show in 1984 made a claim about characters devised in 1969 it was time to close the page and move on.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:16 PM
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Personally, I wonder if Ernie and Bert are an interracial couple.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:34 PM
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Their universe, their rules.

So it appears Ms. Piggy is a nypho with a kink for inter-species froggy bangin...

and Bert and Ernie are non sexed adult humanoids who share a bedroom.


It makes very little sense, and I am completely cool with that.
  #23  
Old 09-19-2018, 02:30 PM
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Then they realized they were only puppets. Less than dead, they never were--let alone sexual.
  #24  
Old 09-19-2018, 03:47 PM
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I can't imagine any statement that SeameStreetCorp could produce that would convince people that they are NOT gay and would end this stupid debate.
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Old 09-19-2018, 05:02 PM
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I also wonder if they were named for the cop and the taxi driver in It's a Wonderful Life.
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Old 09-19-2018, 06:28 PM
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or maybe they are gay, depends on who you ask.
Isn't everybody?
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Old 09-19-2018, 06:33 PM
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"Still." How pathetic can some people be.
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Old 09-20-2018, 10:34 AM
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"Freaking out"? Is that really an accurate description of their reaction?

It's natural for them to be asked, and it's natural for them to give the Word of God answer when asked, which is that, no, they're not gay. And that to say that they are would be to sexualize something that is not sexual.
Yes. Very much so. There is no reason for them to have an official position at all. It should never have existed. There is no reason for it to matter whether they are gay, straight, asexual, whatever.

But it does to them. Any time anyone suggest they might be gay, they have to make sure everyone knows that they aren't gay. As if it would be some horrible thing.

And, for goodness sake, having a gay couple is not sexualizing them any more than having a straight couple. That's the same bullshit the anti-gay people say, saying that homosexuality is sexual and should not be allowed. That's part of what was so offensive.

It was bad enough back in the day. It's even worse that they're sticking to it, rather than fixing it by saying it actually doesn't matter. They should say that it's okay if you consider them gay, and it's okay if you don't.

But they won't, because even allowing people to think of them as gay is apparently extremely horrible. They have to make sure they still appeal to all those bigoted parents who would tune out if there was any possibility that two non-related men who met and now live with each other and were specifically written with gay tropes from a gay writer were gay.

It would be nice if we'd be past the "no homo" point in our fiction.

Last edited by BigT; 09-20-2018 at 10:38 AM.
  #29  
Old 09-20-2018, 10:41 AM
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Personally, I wonder if Ernie and Bert are an interracial couple.
They are both "colored." Orange and yellow, specifically.
  #30  
Old 09-20-2018, 12:41 PM
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You may as well ask if Chandler and Joey were gay.
They do seem to hug each other an awful lot. And then there were the times that Joey and Ross would sleep together.

Hmmm.....
  #31  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:30 PM
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And, for goodness sake, having a gay couple is not sexualizing them any more than having a straight couple.
Correct—nor any less.

The issue is not whether or not they are gay: it's whether or not they are a couple (in the sexual sense).

The issue is "What is the essential nature of their relationship?" Are they more like lovers? Roommates? Siblings? Best friends? Frenemies? (I think my own preferred answer is "comedy team"—like Laurel and Hardy, or the Three Stooges, or any number of cartoon character pairings.)

Quote:
It was bad enough back in the day. It's even worse that they're sticking to it, rather than fixing it by saying it actually doesn't matter. They should say that it's okay if you consider them gay, and it's okay if you don't.
But once they've given an answer, to change that answer would be retconning, and to refuse to answer would be playing coy. Now, if they were to add "...Not that there's anything wrong with that" to their answer, that would be just fine.

IMHO, fictional characters are who and what their creators say they are. If J. K. Rowling says Dumbledore is gay, he's gay. If Arthur Conan Doyle had conceived of Holmes and Watson as lovers, they would be (he didn't, by the way). If Jim Henson and Frank Oz had designed Ernie and Bert as a gay couple, that's what they'd be. They didn't, so in my mind that settles it.


I ran across this article: The fight over Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie as a gay couple, explained. Among other things, it mentions the Odd Couple comparison that I speculated about earlier:
Quote:
Created in 1969 — they were the only original Muppets to debut with Sesame Street’s original pilot — Bert and Ernie seem to have been clearly modeled off Neil Simon’s famous Odd Couple, Oscar and Felix, who were tremendously popular and had permeated the culture in the ’60s.

Longtime Muppeteer Eric Jacobson, who has played Bert since 1997, has gone on record as saying he believes The Odd Couple was the inspiration for Bert and Ernie. He used this as a reason to dispute their implied queerness (“If you know the genesis of the characters, it’s an absurd idea”), but it should be noted that Bert and Ernie appeared on the scene a year before the television version of The Odd Couple, which was noted for its queer subtext and sexual ambiguity.
(with a link that Arkcon might find interesting).

I also read the Wikipedia article on Bert and Ernie, which notes that "the relationship between Bert and Ernie reflected the real-life friendship between Henson and Oz." Also:
Quote:
The age of the characters is unclear. Sesame Street Live performer Taylor Morgan said in an interview that "I just kind of try to think like a 6-year-old or a 7-year-old, because that's how old Bert is."
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Old 09-20-2018, 01:37 PM
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Too late to edit: I do think it's okay if people want to think of them as a gay couple. But I don't think there's anything "official" about that.
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:45 PM
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When it comes to Bert and Ernie's ages, I always think back to this sketch*, where it's implied neither of them have been to school yet.

*Some great banter in this one
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:26 PM
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Spoiler alert...............Bert and Ernie are "not" real.
  #35  
Old 09-20-2018, 08:55 PM
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Their universe, their rules.

So it appears Ms. Piggy is a nypho with a kink for inter-species froggy bangin...

and Bert and Ernie are non sexed adult humanoids who share a bedroom.


It makes very little sense, and I am completely cool with that.
No, it makes plenty of sense. The puppet characters of The Muppet Show were mostly adults, with adult problems and sexual desires. For example, Animal would often chase after a pretty guest start while shouting "Woman. Woman. Woooman!"

The puppet characters of Sesame Street are children- or something very like children. Elmo might think the princess in Cinderelmo is pretty. He might want to dance with her. But he's just a tot.

FTG Exactly. A writer may have written Bert and Ernie as a gay couple. That view was never endorsed. That writer was not involved in the creation of either character.

Stosh

Two questions

#1 Why do you hate fun?

#2 What does that have to do with anything?

There are plenty of fictional characters with cannonical sexual desires and identities.
Back To The OP

I don't see this as a 'The Gays are evil!' issue. I see it as a nerd fan detail issue. The actor who played Gark on Star Trek Deep Space Nine said he always envisioned Garak as bisexual and open to a romance with Julian Bashir. As a fan of the show, I think that would have been great. But, it was never official.
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  #36  
Old 09-20-2018, 10:24 PM
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Well, if you check out Frank Oz's Twitter account, the poor guy's getting slammed as a homophobe, even though he's trying his best to be polite and diplomatic.
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:42 AM
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The claim that they are Muppets and don't have an orientation is stupid. Cite: Kermit and Miss Piggy.

Bert and Ernie are more human-like than them.
  #38  
Old 09-21-2018, 09:55 AM
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The claim that they are Muppets and don't have an orientation is stupid. Cite: Kermit and Miss Piggy.

Bert and Ernie are more human-like than them.
Again, that's The Muppet Show. Characters on TMS are adults with sexual/romantic feelings.

The puppet characters on Sesame Street are pre-sexual.
  #39  
Old 09-21-2018, 12:07 PM
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Again, that's The Muppet Show. Characters on TMS are adults with sexual/romantic feelings.

The puppet characters on Sesame Street are pre-sexual.
Kermit is a character on Sesame Street.
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Old 09-21-2018, 01:36 PM
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Kermit is a character on Sesame Street.
I am aware of that. But, they're two very different Kermits. Batman was in both The SuperFriends and Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. They're two very different Bat (would it be Batmans or Batmen?). Kermit of The Muppet Show was unlikely to stop and explain what sound a letter M makes. Kermit of Sesame Street is equally unlikely to express romantic/sexual interest in Miss Piggy or anybody else.
  #41  
Old 09-22-2018, 08:29 AM
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The puppet characters of Sesame Street are children- or something very like children.
There are supporting characters who are definitely not portrayed as children. Elmo, for example, has a mother and a father, and a set of grandparents. These are not children.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 09-22-2018 at 08:33 AM.
  #42  
Old 09-22-2018, 09:48 AM
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Does this mean Bert and Ernie are doing a cover of the equal rights song from Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGAAMQLb4ZE
  #43  
Old 09-24-2018, 06:19 PM
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Well, if you check out Frank Oz's Twitter account, the poor guy's getting slammed as a homophobe, even though he's trying his best to be polite and diplomatic.
The thing is, Bert and Ernie are based on Jim Henson and Frank Oz's real-life relationship. So of course Frank Oz doesn't think they're a gay couple, because he was Henson's collaborator, not his forbidden lover.

Anyway, just because you're the creator of a fiction that doesn't mean you're the best person to understand your own fiction. Sometimes stuff that the creator can't acknowledge consciously comes bubbling out in sublimated form. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
  #44  
Old 09-25-2018, 08:02 AM
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Sesame Street has shown many families of Muppets over the years. Parents, kids, etc. How did these kids get produced* in that world then?

Bert and Ernie could be a family as well. (But clearly they are just roommates.)

Again, a blanket denial on Muppets' sexual orientation on SS just doesn't work.

* Well, not counting someone with scissors, cloth, needle and thread.
  #45  
Old 09-25-2018, 10:18 AM
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If you don't want to hear that Bert and Ernie aren't gay, then stop asking.

Imo it's really weird that people want to know sexual orientation of puppets on a show for literal babies.
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