Sesame Street Puppets Getting A Sexual Orientation?
Lair Scott has started an online petition calling for the marriage of two of Sesame Street’s favorite puppets; Bert & Ernie.
The petition states:
In this horrific age of LGBT kids taking their own lives, they need to know that they ARE BEAUTIFUL and their lives are worth living. Aside from those that are committing suicide, the bullies that facilitate these tragedies need to learn that homophobia is NOT okay. They need to know that acceptance of their fellow human beings would indeed plant a seed of peace that will reverberate throughout the world. We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful by allowing Bert & Ernie to marry. It can be done in a tasteful way. Let us teach tolerance of those that are different. Let Sesame Street and PBS Kids be a big part in saving many worthy lives.
Since its start in 1969, Sesame Street has traditionally taken on difficult subjects in an effort to educate children, including divorce, tolerance of racial diversity, and real life disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Now, there becomes a time when you have to figure out what matters, and what doesn’t. None of the other puppets on Sesame Street have a sexual orientation, whether it’s gay or straight. Why single out Bert & Ernie to be the first of these characters to enter into some type of romantic relationship?
Sesame Street responded with:
Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.
Encouraging tolerance in children in perfectly okay, but introducing this new story line shouldn’t be a priority there are bigger issues in the world. Worrying about the sexual orientation of two puppets just seems SILLY!
(Only 13 states have laws against gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace.)
There are other ways to teach tolerance, such as having a show with different types of families including gay, interracial, handicapped, or single parents.