I was a bit puzzled to hear recently the “revelation” that the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie were a gay couple.
I’ve always followed the “Jim Rome” logic on that. Rome, a sports talk show host out of Los Angeles famous for being on the wrong end of a fight with Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jim Everett a couple of decades ago, simply believed that since Bert and Ernie were puppets – how can they be gay? Personally, I’ve always thought that had a ring of logic to it.
Similarly, when I was a kid and read every Peanuts comic strip I could find, I never gave the somewhat quirky relationship between Peppermint Patty and Marcie much thought. I thought Marcie always called Patty “sir” because Marcie, always wearing glasses, had poor eyesight and that Patty was starved for attention because she never spoke about her mother.
I guess what bothers me is that we’re taking adult concepts and forcing those concepts on children who might not be emotionally equipped to handle those thoughts at that early of an age. Why can’t we tell kids that Bert and Ernie are friends, or that Marcie and Peppermint Patty are? It would seem a lot simpler.