Friday, August 12, 2011

Life is gay on Sesame Street

So it transpires that Bert and Ernie who hail from arguably the most famous street in the world, Sesame Street, are in fact not gay. Who’d have thunk it eh. The Sesame Street workshop has been forced to issue a statement which essentially acquits the pair from any extra-curricular relations with one another following an online petition calling for the Workshops to allow the bachelors to get married on the street.

Photo by John E. Barrett. TM & © 2007 Sesame Workshop

Lair Scott from Illinois started the petition in an effort to try and show young people that it’s okay to be gay and that homophobia, especially in the media, will not be tolerated in society, however the official statement from the Sesame Street Workshop denies that Bert or Ernie even HAVE a sexual orientation and thus wouldn’t be able to marry. Children all over the world have grown up with Sesame Street and the antics of this pair have been witnessed by many generations over the 40 years they’ve been roommates. The characters were developed as a way to show children that despite vast differences between people, it’s still possible to get on, be civilised and share friendships and experiences together and Bert and Ernie show with great ease that that’s possible.

The notion that they’re gay seems preposterous to those who watched them in their youth, however it could be argued that all the clues are there; they live together, they share the same bedroom, heck they’ve been together longer than most marriages these days! It’s not the first time accusations of hidden agendas in kids shows has been brought up, rumours about the sexuality of Zippy, George and Bungle from the 1980’s show Rainbow are still rife today, and don’t even get started on the character names from Captain Pugwash. However, the show is aimed at pre-schoolers so do they really need to know about such in-depth aspects of relationships at that age or should the focus be more on friendships rather than sexual relationships or sexuality of any kind? Such political undertones are perhaps too complex and unnecessary at such a young age, besides, if they’re trying to teach kids about real world relationships then they’d have to make Bert and Ernie get divorced after a couple of years and have a long and drawn out mediation over the prenup. Hey, I’m just saying...

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