'Showbiz Tonight' Flashpoint: Should Bert and Ernie get married?
August 11th, 2011
04:55 PM ET

'Showbiz Tonight' Flashpoint: Should Bert and Ernie get married?

There’s a big debate today over two beloved “Sesame Street” characters: Bert and Ernie. There’s a Facebook petition to encourage these two to get married.

For years there have been questions about Bert and Ernie’s sexuality. The “Sesame Street” folks have repeatedly denied they’re gay. But this petition is urging the show to have them “come out” and allow B and E to finally wed!

The petition states that having Bert and Ernie marry on the show would be a lesson to many people: “We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful by allowing Bert and Ernie to marry… Let us teach tolerance of those that are different. Let Sesame Street and PBS Kids be a big part in saving many worthy lives.”

The Sesame Workshop, which produces “Sesame Street,” has responded to the petition and tells "Showbiz Tonight," “Even though they [Bert and Ernie] are identified as male characters…They do not have a sexual orientation.”

What do you think of the new petition to have Bert & Ernie marry? Or do you think “Sesame Street” has the right idea with these characters – just not go there with any sexual orientation? Post below and watch our big debate on this, tonight at 11 p.m. ET/PT on HLN.

Watch Showbiz Tonight Weekdays Exclusively at 11PM ET on HLN.


soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Matt

    Why would they want to do that. What parent would let their kid watch a show with two gay people. You want them to learn about gay people then have them watch "Glee!" And anyways haven't we already seen gay puppets in "Avenue Q?"

    August 25, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Shut Up Little Man

    Do they really need a wedding?! They already act like an old married couple: http://bit.ly/qwIJYQ. A wedding won't change nothing!

    August 15, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AngelWood

    I'm tired of these friggin gays wanting everyone to be apart of their pillow biting agenda! Leave the children alone and stop trying to change the tradition of a show for your own gain.

    August 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bryan

    sesame street is for kids who are to yong to be expose to gays & lesbines

    August 13, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jb

    no they shouldnt if thats what they r trying to teach kids it should be throwed off the air being gay is against nature if they get married u mise well just say its ok if our kids grow up to be gay and its not ok its against nature take magnets for example north and north repel but north and south attract u can see whats wrong now and if u cant thiers something wrong

    August 13, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dawn

    Really bad idea. this is not how our kids were brought up thinking of them that way. This is a childrens show not an adult show. There are plenty of adult shows with this situation. Leave this show for the children we don't want them asking us questions at such a young age.I will ban my children from watching sesame street today.

    August 13, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. joparma

    For crying out loud....they're just roommates! For crying out louder...they're puppets!! They aren't people! They are tools to teach kids about sharing their cookies and pizza. Leave them be.

    August 12, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. P

    Leave it alone please..they are just characters. Geeze louise! go find something else important to have an opinion about and stop wasting our time with crap ideas.....To even think that there is anything about Bert and Ernie means you do not have enough to do. They are just puppets showing behavior skills to children. Behavior kills that they are not getting at home...Share .. be friendly... think of others first...that's all it is.

    August 12, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Maria

    Disgusting,obnoxious idea,why kids had to know about gay or lesbians? it is not enouh they own Hollywood? levae the children alone ..only in America really,this is "Sodoma and Gomorra " I wonder why so many crimes so much evil......I wonder......nothing is wrong inthis world now! how sad .

    August 12, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Meg

    Totally inappropriate. Please don't.

    August 12, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. surfsouthbay

    of course they should. the extreme left isnt happy until they have perversed everything. the gay community must jam all of their agenda down our throats through every media outelt possible.

    August 12, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Herman

    BAD idea....no need to make a statement to that age demographic

    August 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Colleen

    I'd have no problem with it but it's just NOT NECESSARY.

    August 12, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Isaac Bickerstaff

    Why not just make all the characters on all the kid shows gay?

    Then we can start on the real business of mainstreaming pedophilia.

    August 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Steve

    Oh I think they should marry. Just imagine all the s**t that would stir up with all those holier than thou's!

    August 12, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  16. W O'Laney

    If there are any gay characters on Sesame Street, they are that pair of old 'queens', Statler and Waldorf.
    Bert and Ernie are just good buds.

    August 12, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  17. bob

    I have never thought of these two charaters as being Gay. i always thought they were a spoof of Felix and Oscar from the old Odd Couple show

    August 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Mom

    This is the worst idea ever. I nearly kicked a 20 yr old out of my house the other night for trying to tell my 6 yr old that it's ok. for boys to date boys. There's no room for that in a toddler's or young person's idealogy.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  19. GCS

    These characters are just muppets, no more / no less. They might have a male persona, but they are just "its." A lot of famous character duos are male - Tom & Jerry, Yogi Bear & Boo Boo, Chip & Dale. Let Ernie & Bert just be make believe muppets without an agenda.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob

      Hey GCS Don't forget about Bugs Bunny Daffy Duck & Elmer Thud giving each other BIG KISSES It's all harmless cartoon fun!

      August 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Kana

    This is just plain stupid. Bert and Ernie are not gay. Sesame Street has denied this assumption many times already. Why is it necessary to "make" them gay? All this is, is someones Political Correct agenda.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  21. dtcpr

    uhm....they're puppets

    August 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Say what!!

    Pigeons!! well that new

    August 12, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  23. DowlingRoad

    What fresh lunacy is this? There is no need whatsoever to go there with Bert and Ernie. And it would never work anyway – Bert has a thing for pigeons and Ernie loves _everybody_.

    August 12, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  24. Scott Pilgrim defeated The World

    There is absolutely no point to this. Bert and Ernie show kids that you can get along with someone, even if you're both different (Bert being much grumpier, but still ends up having fun). Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    August 12, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott Pilgrim is beating my meat....

      Oh yeah baby...gimme that hand shandee.

      August 12, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  25. Brian

    No, not, never. There is NO need for this whatsoever....

    August 12, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  26. jhart2070

    I think this is taking things to far. This is a show for kids not adults opposing their beliefs on children. It offends me as a straight man that many on the LGBT community want to impose their lifestyles on the non LGBT community , yet when someone says something about them they are in an uproar.
    I am a open minded person but enough is enough.

    August 12, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Doubting Thomas

      If you feel the need to actually put "I'm an open minded person" in your comment, ever think that maybe your comment must not be open minded?

      I personally don't think it's necessary for the show, but the uproar is hilarious. I think this just gets a big shrug, who cares if they're gay or not? Are people afraid that if their kids watch a gay couple they'll turn gay or something?

      August 12, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  27. someone

    they dont need to get married and would be confusing kids

    August 12, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  28. Paco

    If we are gonna do this then lets do it right...they should get married for all the children to see then show one of them suffering and dying from A.I.D.S. for all the children to see.

    Lets not be half-assed here. The whole truth should be put out not just the wonderful parts about male on male gobblers and doodee munchers.

    August 12, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
    • weinerschnitzel

      They should also show the honeymoon where Bert looks up at the camera after eating from Ernies ass, with his face all covered in a brown stinky stew.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Jazmine

    No way! Why can't they be just friends or roommates?

    August 12, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Colleen

      I totally agree! I wouldn't care if Bert and Ernie are gay, it's just not necessary! Let the air of mystery continue to blow :)

      August 12, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Wayne Yohn

    I think most of the cartoon characters on Sesame Street, Telly Tubbies and Sponge Bob are gay. They appear to be very happy.,

    August 12, 2011 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  31. MaKaElectric

    Unreal! My thoughts – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH1Veqg8tGA

    August 12, 2011 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  32. Ed

    These two characters are based on Oscar and Felix from "The Odd Couple" – who were not gay. The characters themselves show no love for each other – they're definitely friends, but Ernie is forever tormenting Bert, and he does it intentionally; it's a borderline-abusive relationship. Yeah, I know we're talking about Muppets. Is this a relationship that should move to marriage? Absolutely not. If Sesame Street wanted to do a gay marriage, they should pick two other characters.

    August 12, 2011 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
  33. alecia

    Maneesh for the love of G@d please lighten up! Use your social filter and if you dont have any they make pills for rudeness! And nobody egg him on!

    August 12, 2011 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
  34. Mama cry

    All this gay talk is making me cry. cant see ernie going down on bert because bert would slap him with a skilet because ernie wont get it right

    August 12, 2011 at 5:25 am | Report abuse |
  35. GizzyN

    I've been actively advocating for LGBT rights for 26 years... and even I think this is a lousy idea. A person doesn't "become" gay, just as they don't "become" straight – you either are or you aren't. Bert and Ernie have never been portrayed as being gay, why would we MAKE them gay now?

    I'd have no problem with them introducing a gay/lesbian couple to the cast the same way they had Maria & Luis... but this concept of "turning" existing puppets gay? No... sends a completely inaccurate message to kids.

    August 12, 2011 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  36. Peace

    Should they get married? Are you f'ing kidding me? I really don't think that's necessary for such a young age group. *sigh*

    August 11, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Morganne

    When I watched Sesame Street growing up I always assumed they were brothers

    August 11, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Amanda

    Bert and Ernie are just kids and they're best friends. I used to wish I could live with my best friend when I was little. I think it's a little tired that people keep insisting that they must be gay because they're two male puppets cohabitating on a children's show. Making such a big deal about how they "must" be gay and they should get married is just as stupid as making a big deal out of how they couldn't be gay because that would be evil/awful/immoral/whatever. They're supposed to be kids, not adults anyway.

    They're the odd-couple for kids. They teach them about opposites and working together even though you have different ideas.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Grandpa

    Why would anybody want this to happen. Want to destroy childrens favorite show?
    These characters are not gay and never showed they were even leaning toward that direction. They are just good friends, and that is what is imparted to the youngsters that watch the shows.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • DRG

      100% correct, but you know and I know this world is crazy with a lot of crazy people. Like I said grandpa you are correct and your comment is the most intelligent comment on this article.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Hameesh

    @ND when you are trying to insult someone, please put that person's name your f***ing wuss!!!!

    August 11, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • ND

      I now know you are a retard; I don't have to put that persons name in the comment since I'm replying directly to them!!!!! You know, that word reply under that persons comment!!! WOW...Just WOW! You are a wuss you little monkey!!!

      August 11, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  41. NIa

    Wow! Should this even be a question, all I can do is laugh! it's too funny to Answer. We all grew up having the idea of Bert and Ernie as two best friends, that's the idea!

    August 11, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Maurice

    Heckle and Jeckle were black f***ets.

    August 11, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • ND

      Ignorance must run deep in your family. Your family tree doesn't even fork!

      August 11, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Beautiful Vixen

    Lmao!!! Oscar...that's funny. Come into my garbage can little boy/girl. I have a pm tablet waiting for you with milk and cookies. Anyway for the love of g-d leave Bert and Ernie alone. They are just two roomates. Seriously, why do they have to and want to make everyone and everything gay.

    August 11, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Ben

    No way no how. The idea of Bert and Ernie getting married is stupid. It's a kid's show. Bert and Ernie are friends. They are not gay. What's the next question–Should Disney's Chip and Dale get married? What a idiotic question to ask!

    August 11, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  45. charlie crack

    Kick knowledge to em' @ms.fernace..........

    August 11, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Cindy

    NO! My 4 year old does not need to be introduced to any kind of marriage concept, gay, straight or whatever. They're puppets for Pete's sake and are pretty much considered to be kids. Let kids be kids. Quit applying our hang ups to their worlds. They will grow up soon enough.

    August 11, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  47. mythoughtis

    Bert and Ernie are puppets and are considered children anyway.
    will all the politically correct people please be concerned with equality in real life and leave Sesame Street alone. We don't all have to have every politically correct thought rammed down our 3 year olds throat

    August 11, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  48. vincent

    you must be kinding.... anyone that would think that this is ok should have thier head checked out.....
    dont force feed my kids .... and if PBS thinks this will ever fly ill stop my donations to them ...... the church's of the world cannt force feed the public on its ideas... why should any other group be able to do the same.......

    August 11, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Gail R.

    Hell no.

    August 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Flbaer

    If they get married, are we also going to show how difficult it is for gay couples to live in a "str8" society? I am gay, and I don't see the purpose of it. I have a cousin who asked what gay was when she was in 1st or 2nd grade. Her mother simply said it's when two people of the same gender love each other. Her response? "You mean like Uncle____ and Uncle ___?" That's right, and that's all my cousin had to say. She was satisfied.

    August 11, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  51. vstarguy

    I'm biding my time until our society wants people to marry their pets! If the people in charge allow Bert and Ernie to marry, what do I say to my 4 year old grandson?

    August 11, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  52. fernace

    As I have said numerous times about ficticious characters people want to assign s.e.x.uallity to:They Are Not Real!! As the spokes- person stated, Bert & Ernie are written as males but have no s.e.x.ual orientation! They are beloved characters of little preschool kids, who are too young to know or care about such matters! If anything, Bert & Ernie are kids themselves! They should be left alone & Parents are the people who are in charge of teaching their kids about the "birds & bee's," not Sesame Street, or any other kid show, for that matter!

    August 11, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snarky

      Amen! Also, marriage is gay anyways.

      August 11, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vstarguy

      Well said! Very good point. Unfortunately, I don't think people, like the person pushing this marriage thing really give a damn!
      Ther in ly's the real problem!

      August 11, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  53. serious

    People, stop picking on Bert and Ernie and focus on Oscar the Grouch. Dude lives naked in a trash can and talks to children...that's just messed up.

    August 11, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  54. jillmarie

    I never thought of them as gay- just buddies who are roomates- one is grouchier than the other. This is a children's show, not a politically correct forum. Leave it alone, but this headline made me laugh- are these people serious??!

    August 11, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Conall Archer

    Why do people have to say other people are gay or different? Just because two males live in the same place does not make them GAY. These are two male that little kids can understand. The teach little kids how to act with friends. Just because they are nice to each other does not make them GAY. They acted like kids. It's okay to be gay. If thats how you are. I think the show should do something to teach young kids how to get a long with other people. But why is it that Bert and Ernie have to be gay?

    August 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  56. sarah S

    Thats not the right show for things like that. kids that age arnt even old enough to make a connection like that.

    August 11, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Counterpoint

    I never thought of Bert & Ernie's relationship as potentially odd until I was an young adult. As a kid I didn't think anything of "Bosom Buddies" either. So while it might not be necessary to have these two muppets marry, it could be a positive thing for children of gay parents, to reinforce that there is nothing wrong with them. Most kids probably wouldn't think much about it at all.

    August 11, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  58. K-Man

    I think that would be completely messed up. Most parents don't want to have the conversation with their 2-5 year old about why two males are marrying each other.

    August 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Ms. Mariah

    I thought Sesame Street was about learning about your ABC's & 1,2,3's? Why is it soo necessary to teach children about the Bee's too? Let children be children and let the adults deal with thier own issues..smh

    August 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Because it is SO important that the gay and lesbian maffia brainwash our children. You can never start too young!

      August 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Keith

      They want them to learn birds and birds, or bees and bees; not birds and bees the way it should be.

      August 13, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  60. jm13

    I honestly always thought they were brothers...lol

    August 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Not just brothers, but also kids. Are they going to have Elmo and Prairie Dawn marry too? Give them an excuse to hand out condoms in preschool!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Seriously

    I never thought of them as gay. They've got a serious bromance going on, but they've never been shown doing anything romantic together. Marrying them would be weird, like they're doing it just for tax purposes or something.

    August 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • huginkyss

      I completely agree. Bert is way to anoyed with Ernie to love him in the romantic way. They're more of the Odd Couple than a married couple.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Richard Fore

    @ Junkplie...... Agreed, I'll bet Bert is a rather astute pick up artist and Ernie is a awesome wingman, I;ll bet they land tail left and right.

    August 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Junkpile

    Sesame street needs to show Bert and Ernie picking up some tail in order to dispel the rumors of their gayness....

    August 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  64. LEE

    Really bad idea.

    August 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Vip

    NO!!!! WORST.IDEA.EVER.

    August 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Superhiro

    Do kids who watch Sesame street really need to learn about that at that young of an age? Just seems like a gimmick to me if they do it.

    August 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason Stiehler

      This just shows how disgusting these gay maffia groups can be. EVERYTHING has to be turned into a political piece.

      Shame on gay and lesbian groups for perverting a CHILDRENS SHOW.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carolyn

      There is NO reason for a marriage between these two. Kids dont know, nor should they have to know anything about this. Kids just want to be kids. Who ever would think of such a thing for our children to become involved in. I think it is just awful that you have to put mess on like this.

      August 12, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Viktor

      Wait a second. I'm getting sort of tired of all these people claiming that children are too young for this sort of thing. Some people grow up knowing gay and lesbian people and nothing bad happens to them. Human diversity is nothing to be ashamed of and if they're too young to know about marriage period, they shouldn't be taught anything about religion. People misuse the teaching of religion and spread hate and intolerance in teaching it to children. Children can't even begin to comprehend a religion until they're much older, and in our free society they may not even choose to embrace it.
      Now, I could care less about Bert and Ernie getting married but I do care about people being haters. Just sayin'.

      August 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Superhiro

      It's not that it's "wrong" to show this stuff on Seasame Street. It's just there's no context or need for it. They'd be s3xualizing two characters on a kids show that has absolutely nothing to do with s3x or romance. None of their behavior suggests they're gay, so it just makes no sense, and it would imply that people who act like Bert and Ernie are gay, when in reality, they're probably just really good friends. It just sends an inaccurate message, particularly on a completely non-s3xual show.

      August 13, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      SERIOUSLY, What the Hell is going on!!!! If PBS does this I hope they get ZERO funding on the plege drive and I wouldnt let my kids which it. I grew up on Sesame Street and it taught me a ton and I hope the show stays around. But I think this is the WORST IDEA EVER!!!!!! I hope other's feel the same way I do

      August 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Shut Up

    The world would be a better place without racist people like yourself! People like you and the so called "real ND" who throw racist insults, because their vocabulary is limited! Now go and remove yourself from the gene pool you racist fool!!!

    August 11, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  68. The Måd Råp3r

    Haha my phone has a reply button and yours doesnt. Life is good in the land of the free with all our lovely shedevils. That being said send more of those hot Indian women over here please.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |

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