Why Bert and Ernie Shouldn’t Get Married
Simple answer: Because they are puppets. However there is an online petition to "Let Bert and Ernie Get Married on Sesame Street". Last time I checked there were 6,006 signatures. Here's my issue with this petition. Although the petition sites "Let us teach tolerance of those that are different," most of the viewers of Sesame Street are intolerant of vegetables, baths and nap time, not people. I watched Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street as did millions of people for the past 40 years. As a child, it never occurred to me they were in a relationship. That is the beauty of innocence. Which is slowly being lost because adults feel the need to inject their views. PBS is one of the last stations to preserve innocence with real shows for children. Don't get me started on Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon.
But if we want to start teaching kids to be tolerant, why stop with Bert and Ernie? Spongebob and Patrick have a questionable relationship (only to adults). I'm about to start a petition that The Backyardigans should embrace their African American heritage. For another absurd argument, read Are the Backyardigans racist?
We complain that kids are growing up to fast, but yet it's adults that are the ones pushing their own agenda. If we want children to be more tolerant, as adults we need to set the example. Teaching tolerance starts at home. Marrying Bert and Ernie is not going to stop a child's parent from teaching their own narrow-minded and ignorant views about race, gender or sexual orientation. And honestly, have you tried to explain something complicated to a 3-4 year old? It takes time and patience.
BTW, here's the statement from Sesame Street: "Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."