NEW YORK, N.Y. — Emmy Award-winning “Sesame Street” writer Mark Saltzman has announced that two of the show’s iconic characters, “Bert” and “Ernie,” were written as a gay couple. The relationship reflected his own same-sex relationship, according to Saltzman, who began writing for the show in 1984. Bert and Ernie shared a basement apartment at “123 Sesame Street,” since the show’s beginning and have been longtime gay icons for the LGBTQ community. “Sesame Street” is a staple educational television show for children and has been seen by billions of children worldwide.
LGBT Network President and CEO David Kilmnick has said that a coming out party for the “Sesame Street” stars is long overdue. Kilmnick says that these two main characters being part of the LGBTQ community will help children discover who they are, and further enable parents to speak openly with their children about LGBTQ causes at a young age.
“Bert and Ernie are icons of the LGBT community … LGBT Advocates everywhere see this as a terrific step in the right direction for inclusion everywhere, teaching kids that they may feel welcome and safe everywhere — including on Sesame Street,” Kilmnick stated.