There’s a petition circulating Facebook urging Ernie and Bert, of “Sesame Street” fame, to take the plunge after 40 years of being roommates. That’s right folks, these people believe that after all these years, Ernie and Bert should admit their homosexuality and just get married, so they can be role models for gay and lesbian couples and teach children acceptance.
Excuse me? I am all for acceptance, but people, this is a CHILDREN’S show! It is my personal belief that if you want to teach your children about acceptance, then be a parent and show them what acceptance is all about. I think that children nowadays are not allowed to be children; they need to be mini-adults. Let them enjoy shows like “Sesame Street” for what they are: children’s entertainment and education. It’s like sending your kids to kindergarten to learn their abc’s and also expecting the teacher to talk about his or her sexual preferences with the class.
Please also consider that Bert and Ernie are puppets and puppets don’t have a sexual orientation because, well, they’re puppets!! I am sure the originators of this petition had good intentions, but there are many lifestyles that are not depicted on “Sesame Street”–should we explore those adult situations as well? I mean, veteran actors Bob McGrath (“Bob”) and Loretta Long (“Susan”) have been on the show since its inception. Since “Susan” is married on the show, should she have an affair with “Bob” so children can experience an interracial couple cheating? That’s real life, too, isn’t it? “Sesame Street” is sounding more like the “Jerry Springer Show” than a place to sing “Rubber Duckie”.
I just sincerely hope that the producers of “Sesame Street” stick by their guns and keep Ernie and Bert roommates, as they have been for 40 years. Can you picture an Ernie and Bert wedding, with Kermit the Frog singing “The Rainbow Connection”, all brought to you today by the letter “Z”?
While I am taking a humorous approach to this issue, it’s not because I disagree with gay marriage but because I don’t believe “Sesame Street” is the particular venue for gay marriage to be addressed. As the grown ups, it is our responsibility to teach our children to be tolerant of other cultures, races,and sexual orientation. We need to just let Bert enjoy his pigeons and paper clip collection and let Ernie love his little rubber duckie, and live together plationically. In return, I won’t ask that someone teach me the alphabet while I am watching “Desperate Housewives”.
While Bert and Ernie may be the focus of this Facebook petition, I know that this whole situation will eventually die down and then the next big controversy will come along. However, if I were one of “The Wiggles”, I might just start looking for a new address…