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Frank Oz: ‘It’s wonderful people think Bert and Ernie are a gay couple’

'The Muppets' creator took to Twitter to reveal his delight that people say his character's are gay

By Steve Brown

Frank Oz has said it’s “wonderful” that people think Bert and Ernie are a gay couple.

Last week, Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman spoke to Queerty about the two characters and said he while he was writing the characters he imagined them as a same-sex couple.

However, the revelation that they could be a couple was praised by the LGBT community but Sesame Street bosses took to Twitter and said that they couldn’t be a loving couple because they are puppets without sexuality.

And Oz – who, alongside Jim Henson, created The Muppets – followed up confirming that the two puppeteers are not gay and wrote on Twitter: “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.”

However, his comments caused backlash after members of the LGBT community took to the social media site to slam him.

As the Twitter thread continued, Oz realised that, as a straight man, he has never needed to “think about my own sexual orientation” and apologised for his comments.

He added: “You’re right. I have not had to think about my own sexual orientation as something that needs to be validated.

“Thank you for writing that. It must hurt. I’m so sorry. I just hate to have people seen as only one way when, straight or gay, we have so many more layers in us.”

Now, Oz took to Twitter today (September 28) and added he thinks it is wonderful that people identify Bert and Ernie as a gay couple.

He wrote: “A last thought: If Jim and I had created B & E as gay characters they would be inauthentic coming from two straight men.

“However, I have now learned that many view them as representative of a loving gay relationship. And that’s pretty wonderful. Thanks for helping me understand.”