Sesame Street Puppeteer and the mastermind behind Star Wars’ Yoda Frank Oz came under attack for stating that beloved Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie are not gay.

Oz took to Twitter to respond to Mark Saltzman, who worked on Sesame Street scripts. Saltzman spoke to Queerty where he declared that “without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were [gay].” He continued, “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.'”

Saltzman would then go on to discuss how he saw his own personal relationship with film editor Arnold Glassman.

“That’s what I had in my life, a Bert & Ernie relationship. How could it not permeate? The things that would tick off Arnie would be the things that would tick off Bert. How could it not? I will say that I would never have said to the head writer, “oh, I’m writing this, this is my partner and me.”

Frank Oz responded declaring Bert & Ernie are not gay. He would go on to question, “But why that question? Does it really matter? Why the need to define people as only gay? There’s much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness.”

That’s when Oz came under attack with a number of people imply that he hates gay people.

Frank Oz

NEW YORK – 1970: Puppeteers (L-R: Daniel Seagren holding and Jim Henson working Ernie and Frank Oz with Bert rehearse for an episode of Sesame Street at Reeves TeleTape Studio in 1970 in New York City, New York. (Photo by David Attie/Getty Images)

As for why Frank Oz decided to speak out on the subject, he had a simple answer, “for honesty.”

Oz would continue to stand by his original comment and defend his creation.

Bert & Ernie

NEW YORK – 1970: Puppeteers (L-R: Daniel Seagren holding and Jim Henson working Ernie and Frank Oz with Bert rehearse for an episode of Sesame Street at Reeves TeleTape Studio in 1970 in New York City, New York. (Photo by David Attie/Getty Images)

Despite Frank coming out and saying that Bert & Ernie are not gay, a number of people began advocating for them to be made gay.

 

Sesame Workshop would eventually weigh in:

That statement would also be heavily criticized:

These types of responses have become all too common throughout modern entertainment. We’ve most recently seen Marvel Comics take this approach with one of their top mutants in Bobby Drake aka Iceman. The comics company decided to make Iceman gay back in 2015.

Iceman is Gay

And for the fans who don’t like these types of changes and have spoken out against it, they’ve been labeled all kinds of things just like Frank Oz and Sesame Street. They are called racists, homophobes, Nazis, alt-right members, and more.

And this type of behavior won’t stop. Former Comics Alliance Editor in Chief Andrew Wheeler made it extremely clear how he wants to radically change comic book characters:

“We need to get from some to enough. And really, we’ll know we’ve achieved success when Captain America can have a boyfriend, and Wonder Woman can have a girlfriend. For queer representation in superhero comics, that’s what success looks like.”

Given the attacks on Frank Oz, it appears this agenda does not only apply to comics, but it appears to apply to general entertainment at large.

(Visited 2,689 times, 1 visits today)

About The Author

John F. Trent

John is the Editor here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.

Related Posts