The rumors about Bert and Ernie have persisted for decades—after all, they have been cohabiting for nearly 50 years at this point. And while the answer to the "are-they" or "aren't-they" questions has always seemed pretty obvious, we finally have a reasonably solid confirmation that Bert and Ernie are gay. Hurray!
The life partners were just outed by Sesame Street writer, Mark Saltzman, who told Queerty that the dynamic between Bert and Ernie was based on his own decades-long relationship with film editor, Arnold Glassman.
"I was Ernie," Saltzman says. "I was the jokester... I was already with Arnie when I came to Sesame Street. So I don’t think I’d know how else to write them but as a loving couple. Arnie’s OCD would create friction with how chaotic I was, and that’s the Bert & Ernie dynamic… That’s what I had in my life, a Bert and Ernie relationship. How could it not permeate?"
The revelation is in direct contradiction to sporadic denials issued over the years. In 1993, the Children’s Television Workshop said that “Bert and Ernie, who’ve been on Sesame Street for 25 years, do not portray a gay couple, and there are no plans for them to do so in the future.”