Yes, folks, this is what it's come to. The internet arguing over whether two puppets from 'Sesame Street' are gay or not.
The whole thing stemmed from recent comments made by a former writer on the kids' TV show, Mark Saltzman, who told Queerty: "I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were [gay]. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie [his own partner] & I as ‘Bert & Ernie. So I don’t think I’d know how else to write them, but as a loving couple.”
However, Sesame Workshop - the educational organisation linked to the show - has released a statement claiming that the pair 'do not have a sexual orientation' and were 'created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves':
Please see our statement below regarding Bert and Ernie. pic.twitter.com/6r2j0XrKYu
— Sesame Workshop (@SesameWorkshop) September 18, 2018
Now, a multitude of names - from Piers Morgan to Billy Eichner to creator Frank Oz - have now weighed in on the matter:
Next you'll be telling us Miss Piggy & Kermit never had sex. https://t.co/71IjLPP1UW
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 18, 2018
I DON'T CARE IF BERT AND ERNIE ARE GAY I JUST WANT THEM TO BE HAPPY!!!!
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) September 18, 2018
Nice try, cowards! The puppets are gay!
— joey alison sayers (@joeyalison) September 18, 2018
There's an actual active discussion about puppet sexual orientation on Twitter. pic.twitter.com/0VQhFukVUN
— Louise Perry âœ¡ (@louise__lep) September 19, 2018
The fact that you had to put out this statement tells us all how pathetically sad the world is.
— Robert Hardcastle (@BobbyHardcastle) September 19, 2018
It seems Mr. Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay. It's fine that he feels they are. They're not, of course. 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.
— Frank Oz (@TheFrankOzJam) September 18, 2018
Bert and Ernie been coming to thanksgiving together every year without incident and now y'all wanna rock the boat
— Desus Nice (@desusnice) September 18, 2018
People upset about Bert & Ernie should maybe chill out a little. pic.twitter.com/SJAPvjTw52
— rhea butcher (@RheaButcher) September 18, 2018