'Sesame Street' Ex-Writer Says Bert and Ernie Are a Couple

Bert and Ernie are a fully-fledged romantic couple if you ask Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman.

Saltlzman has been a writer on Sesame Street since 1984, long before Bert and Ernie became a common meme on social media. The idea that the two characters are romantically entangled has persisted for years. In an interview with Queerty on Sunday, Saltzman confirmed that at far as he was concerned, this rumor has always been true.

"I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were [a couple]," Satlzman said. "I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them."

Saltzman's revelation — or, at least, his support for a popular fan theory— took over social media in the following days. Fans who had long held out for the roommates to get together were elated to see an official writer side with them.

The actually company behind Sesame Street, however, did not sign off on Saltzman's interpretation. On Tuesday, Sesame Workshop issued a statement to The Blast, refuting Saltzman's claim and assuring fans that the romance was not canon.

“As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends," the statement read. "They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves."

The statement went on to suggest that Bert and Ernie were not likely to have any romantic relationships going forward, as the characters "do not have a sexual orientation."

"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,” it read.

After that, Muppet legend Frank Oz also responded to Saltzman's interview, suggesting that he had missed a larger point by assigning Bert and Ernie a sexuality.

“It seems Mr. Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay," he tweeted. "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.”

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Oz was hit with a deluge of responses to the post. Many represented eye-rolls, while others were filled with anger.

"You may have created him, but you don't seem to realize or appreciate what he meant to thousands of little boys growing up," one person wrote. "You digging in your heels (and wrongly conflating romantic orientation with sexual orientation) with what seems like disgust is abjectly disappointing."