Is Bert from Sesame Street gay?
Published 26/10/2010 | 10:04
Many Sesame Street fans had always suspected it, but it would appear that the character Bert has finally come out of the closet and hinted he is gay.
The fact that he and his room-mate Ernie sport garish pyjamas and sleep side by side has not escaped viewers of the popular children’s television show over the years.
But Bert has now ignited fresh debate about his sexuality after using a slang word for gay to describe himself.
In a message posted on Twitter about the premiere of the recent A-Team film remake, the mono-browed Muppet said on his official page: "Ever notice how similar my hair is to Mr. T's?
"The only difference is mine is a little more 'mo,' a little less 'hawk.'"
The remark meant nothing to most readers, but sparked intrigue in certain gay circles, where "mo" is shorthand for "homosexual".
Writing on the gay blog AfterElton.com, Ed Kennedy noted that the tweet was made during a week when many US cities were hosting their annual Gay Pride celebrations.
"The people at Sesame Street are way too clever for their own good," he said.
Dozens of newspapers, magazine and website have joined the debate with articles speculating about the meaning of Bert’s comments.
Among them, the Los Angeles Times noted: “In its own subtle, perhaps unintentional way, the show's latest season feels more LGBT-friendly than ever.”
It suggested that recent guest appearances by lesbian comedian Wanda Sykes, the gay actor Neil Patrick Harris, who played the "shoe fairy", and Will.i.am, the frontman of the Black Eyed Peas, who sang What I Am, a gay anthem, indicate the direction the American show has been moving in.
Sesame Street also recently featured an appearance from pop star Katy Perry, who is herself famous for being a gay icon following her debut single, "I Kissed A Girl".
A spokesman for the show declined to comment on Bert's sexuality, but said: "Our programming has always appealed to adults as much as children.”