Similar, if not quite so rich, theories have circled the stuffed or drawn heads of other characters such as Winnie the Pooh and Piglet, Velma of Scooby-Doo fame, and SpongeBob SquarePants, whose relationship with Patrick the starfish suggests an "erotic intensity", according to Jeffrey P Dennis, an American author and academic.
In , the religious right pounced on poor Tinky Winky, one of the Teletubbies, accusing him of being a gay role model because he wore purple and had a triangle on his head, both symbols of gay pride. Why is there such strong feeling that Bert, Ernie and co should be gay? It's a positive thing. Hensher points to gay subtexts in other children's literature, including Harry Potter.
J K Rowling confirmed Dumbledore's orientation during a book tour in Children's television should be about alternative families. There's no point in switching on the TV and watching characters just like your mummy and daddy and boring older sister.
Are Ernie and Bert gay?
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Sesame Street Introduces Julia, a Muppet With Autism
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Mark Steel. Janet Street-Porter. John Rentoul. Chuka Ummuna. Shappi Khorsandi. Gina Miller. Advocates of this position note that Ernie and Bert's bedroom contains two single beds rather than one larger bed. They do their jobs well and live a splendidly settled life together in an impeccably decorated cabinet. They share clothes, eat and cook together and have blatantly effeminate characteristics.
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In one show Bert teaches Ernie how to sew. In another they tend plants together.
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If this isn't meant to represent a homosexual union, I can't imagine what it's supposed to represent. Note that no skit has ever shown either character sewing, wearing the other's clothing, or cooking. Ernie tends to his plants alone.
On October 24, , the Los Angeles Times published an article about how some gay advocates believed that Sesame Street was intentionally appealing more to gay viewers. The article commented on a tweet posted by Bert in June of that year: Sesame Workshop denied that they were intentionally trying to reach a gay audience, stating that "the idea that anyone would interpret this season that way never crossed our minds.
In the musical, Rod is an uptight Republican banker, who is secretly in love with his sloppy, over-enthusiastic straight roommate, Nicky. Several numbers during the show focus on Rod's feelings for Nicky, including "Fantasies Come True", in which Rod dreams that he and Nicky rise from their single beds to share a romantic dance. Several members of the original cast including John Tartaglia , Stephanie D'Abruzzo and Rick Lyon were puppeteers who had worked on Sesame Street , but the musical has no connection with the television show.
Advertising and merchandise based on the show include a disclaimer: A mock wedding between people dressed as Bert and Ernie at the Chicago gay pride parade. So with a lot of them, the puppet was the communicator. Did it go down? There was a calypso rhythm. He was like that with all the writers. I think that with the puppeteers he could be closer, then the designers, then, I think the writers.
Did you get to know them at all? Not that close. I should have been friends with Richard Hunt, you know… There was something gay and yet not bonding about it. Certainly not Carroll Spinney [performer of Big Bird]…they were all friendly and we had a good working relationship. And this could have been me…this could have been me being timid.
They were actual stars. Were you flirty with Richard, when you met? It was the opposite. He was flirty. You know, I put the blame on myself. And I mean healthy flirting, not MeToo ass grabbing.
My suspicion is Richard may have perceived me as someone who rebuffed him. Placido Flamingo You wrote some characters for Richard. He was Placido Flamingo, who you created. What was he doing to flirt with you? Well, we were in a dressing room, and he was getting into his costume for [Sweetums, the full body Muppet costume]. And I think when I realized when I was in the room…and here I am, closeted.
And nobody can freak out about a gay pass like a closeted man. Like, a straight guy can roll with it, even back then. He was just showing interest. I was too immature, even to find a gay buddy. When he died I found out we were almost exactly the same age, and born within blocks of each other. And all this…we should have been closer.
Who were your favorite characters to write? She was reactive; the sensible human in a world of chaos. There was enough authority or something, but I look back now, and some of my favorite things I look back on now were for her. He just would have to come out in the Queen Elizabeth costume, or whatever Prairie put him in and recite his lines Did you write Elmo sketches? I did, but he was never one of my favorites.
I got to know him on Jim Henson Hour. I liked him.
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He was approachable? Yeah, yeah. I was absolutely flabbergasted when I heard. I was definitely fooled. There was just so much about Kevin—he had a real artist kind of way into the whole thing. He was more internalized, which now, looking back, might have been closeted. He had a wife, and that seemed to be the end of it.
EXCLUSIVE: Are Bert & Ernie a gay couple? We finally have an answer… / Queerty
At that point, it might have been somebody I could have helped along. I was certainly already cohabitating with Arnie, which, to me, was like the biggest marker in my emerging life. It upsets me so much that guys felt they had to stay in the closet for so long. I can only imagine this was hellish; to sort of be living the life, but as a black guy commuting to the Upper West Side, he had to get stopped all the time.
You just get stopped.