Iconic duo Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street are a gay couple, a former writer for the show has confirmed.
Since the show first aired in 1969, the fuzzy Muppets have amused viewers with their relationship - which includes bickering, and lots of laughter.
Now, in an interview with Queerty, Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman revealed the best friends are also a couple.
According to Saltzman, who joined the show as a writer in 1984, he always wrote the pair as lovers.
“And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were,” he said in response to a question about the duo’s sexuality. “I didn’t have any other way to contextualise them.”
Saltzman also revealed the muppets were a reflection of his own relationship with film editor Arnold Glassman, which impacted how he wrote the characters.
“I don’t think I’d know how else to write them, but as a loving couple,” he said.
The possibility of a homosexual relationship between the two Sesame Street characters, who live together in an apartment on the show and who are considered gay icons, has been debated by fans as well as the show itself.
After same-sex marriage was legalised in New York, a petition circulated that requested a wedding episode between the duo.
The sentiment was echoed with a 2013 cover of The New Yorker that depicted the Muppets watching the Supreme Court ruling as they lay together on the couch, clearly a couple.
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At the time, Sesame Street had released a statement in which it referred to Bert and Ernie as “best friends” that were “created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves,” according to Pink News.
Following Saltzman's announcement, the Sesame Workshop reiterated its previous stance on Twitter, adding: "Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics, they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."
Despite the show's response, the new revelation regarding the pair’s homosexual relationship has been met with approval and support on social media.
“Duh, I knew that at six,” one person wrote.
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