A spokesperson for Sesame Workshop has countered Saltzman, telling TMZ … “As we have always said, 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.” They continue, “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.”

Frank Oz — longtime puppeteer for the show and hands behind some of the beloved characters, including Bert — also denounced Saltzman, saying, “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.” READ MORE