A spokesperson for Sesame Workshop released a statement countering what Mark Saltzman said:
"As we have always said, 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."
Frank Oz, a big name puppeteer from the show, also had something to say:
Looks like Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie are officially out of the closet thanks to a new interview with the writer who created the characters.
They're Here and They've Been Queer
Mark Saltzman, who joined the Sesame Street writing team in 1984, wrote Bert and Ernie as a gay couple. His inspiration was his own same-sex relationship! At the time, Mark was living with his partner, filmmaker Arnold Glassman but was professionally still in the closet. Mark said
In an interview with Queerty, Mark said the characters became a reflection of his relationship but it wasn't about pushing an agenda. Bert and Ernie have technically been living together for the last 49 years but always sleeping in separate beds. But the playful, dysfunctional couple vibes have always been there!
People have been making jokes and speculating for years that the iconic roommates were gay and now we know. Read the whole interview for more Sesame Street tea here.