Mark Saltzman, former writer for ‘Sesame Street’ TV show, has said he believes the characters of the show, Bert and Ernie are gay couple.
Saltzman, whose recent comment has drawn controversies, said in a recent interview with LGBTQ lifestyle and news website Queerty, said he duo live together, share a bedroom and don’t seem shy about taking a bath in front of each other.
“I remember one time that a column from the San Francisco Chronicle, a preschooler in the city turned to mom and asked ‘are Bert & Ernie lovers?’” Saltzman recalled.
“And that, coming from a preschooler was fun. And that got passed around, and everyone had their chuckle and went back to it. And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie & I as ‘Bert & Ernie.’”
But Saltzman, who wrote the TV show in the 1980s and ’90s, now said that his comments were misinterpreted.
He said that he and his partner, Arnold Glassman, who died in 2003, were much like Bert and Ernie, opposites who found a way to love each other. “As a writer, you just bring what you know into your work,” he said on Tuesday.
“Somehow, in the uproar, that turned into Bert and Ernie being gay,” he said. “There is a difference.”
Saltzman is among a group of writers who have written scripts and songs for all the “Sesame Street” characters.
However, Frank Oz, who helped create Bert and Ernie nearly a half century ago, said on Twitter that the characters were not gay.