If you never watched Sesame Street, let’s face it: You didn’t have much of a childhood. Most of us can remember Big Bird’s friendly voice, Cookie Monster’s frustrating way of eating and wasting cookies at the same time. And most of us undoubtedly remember the dashing puppet duo Bert and Ernie.
Though the pair has been around for decades, a group of activists was on a mission during the past few weeks to more clearly define Bert and Ernie’s relationship for the audience. There have been long-standing rumors that Bert and Ernie are a same-sex couple, and gay rights activists wanted the makers of the show to prove that by having the beloved pals get married on the show.
According to various reports, an Internet petition began, seeking widespread support for Bert and Ernie’s on-air union and open, romantic relationship. Why? Advocates for marriage equality believe a kids program is a good, powerful place to send the message to children about tolerance and equality. Those lessons start being learned at a young age, so why not use a popular TV show to teach them in a fun way?
Sources report that the petition to support Bert and Ernie’s marriage got so much attention that representatives from Sesame Street actually responded to the controversial same-sex marriage push. Their response is most likely what you would have guessed it would be.
Sesame Street does not plan on uniting the puppets in marriage or a civil union, reportedly because they see no reason for the characters to have any sexual orientation at all. Our source challenges that response, however, by highlighting the obvious romantic relationship between the glamorous Miss Piggy and her skinny squeeze Kermit.
What do you think about the idea of including same-sex marriages on children’s programs? Do you think it would make for a more tolerant future? Do you think Sesame Street would be an appropriate medium to teach kids about different kinds of relationships?
Today: “Bert and Ernie won’t be getting married,” Gina Serpe, Aug. 11, 2011