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Friday, June 28, 2013
New Yorker Cover "OUTS" Bert and Ernie as Gay
For those of you who do not know, I used to be in the "Kids Business." One of my jobs was as the senior media planning person on everything owned by Hasbro; back then it was the Hasbro brand, Milton Bradley and Playskool.
We did a lot of work with the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) who owns and runs Sesame Street. After two or three years in the job I summoned up the courage to ask my contact if the rumor about Bert and Ernie was true. It was really an "out there" question as CTW usually found a way to address social issues (especially the liberal ones) in their characters.
At the time I was told in no certain words that no Bert and Ernie were just good buddies and if they addressed sexual preferences they would introduce a new character, not change a present one.
That relieved me only to a point. And not because I have a problem about homosexuality but because to be honest, Sesame Street shouldn't be addressing sexual preference or sexuality in any form with the possible exception of teaching kids to not be embarrassed and to tell someone if they are being "touched."
Sesame Street fans are too young for the "sex talk" and for "sexual preference" talk (IMHO). Which is why if I worked at CTW I would be talking to my lawyers about this cover ASAP.