Ever since "Sesame Street" started in 1969, fans of all ages have grown to love two of the original characters, Bert and Ernie
And while there has long been speculation over the nature of their relationship, former "Sesame Street" writer Mark Saltzman confirmed in an interview with LGBTQ lifestyle website Queerty that the two are indeed a gay couple.
"I remember one time that a column from The San Francisco Chronicle, a preschooler in the city turned to mom and asked 'are Bert & Ernie lovers?' And that, coming from a preschooler was fun. And that got passed around, and everyone had their chuckle and went back to it. And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were," Saltzman shared with Queerty. "I didn't have any other way to contextualize them."
Saltzman explained that the duo is a reflection of his own same-sex relationship with film editor Arnold Glassman. He joked that he was Ernie while Arnold was Bert.
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"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," he explained. "I wrote sketches…Arnie's OCD would create friction with how chaotic I was. And that's the Bert & Ernie dynamic."
"I will say that I would never have said to the head writer, 'oh, I'm writing this, this is my partner and me.' But those two, Snuffalupagus, because he's the sort of clinically depressed Muppet…you had characters that appealed to a gay audience," Saltzman continued. "And Snuffy, this depressed person nobody can see, that's sort of Kafka! It's sort of gay closeted, too."
Fans may also remember that in July 2013, The New Yorker magazine published an illustration of the two roomies shortly after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.
Yet despite Saltzman's declaration that the two are indeed a couple, on Tuesday the official Sesame Street Twitter account issued a statement contradicting their coupledom, saying they are "puppets" and "do not have a sexual orientation."