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Sesame Workshop Trying To Have It Both Ways(Bert/Ernie issue)

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by beaker, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Lol, fair enough for me. Brainy Smurf is a pretty good analogy (and I mean the original Brainy Smurf voiced by Donatello. ;)).

    I agree, that's never going to change. Now maybe sometime down the line they might consider actually addressing the issue more generally on the show, but probably not for a very long time. Perhaps when more gay couples start having children and join the "angry letter writing parents society," lol.

    In any case, they already technically have had gay people on the show, so at least that wasn't a problem in itself.
  2. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That would be in the far future... Postcards from Buster (aside from being a sucky show anyway) attempted to do that. They mentioned they had 2 mothers and they were adopted. No one commented on positions taken pro or against... they didn't explain what they do, if it's acceptable or normal... Buster didn't say, "OH! So THAT'S what lesbian means! My dad calls my mother that under his breath every time he has to pay alimony." In fact, if I was a kid and didn't know about gay couples, I'd assume that there were two mothers like there were 3 "fathers" in Full House... that they're probably actually aunts or something. But everyone got up in arms about that, especially family foundations... the episode was pulled, more of the right had more fuel against giving PBS that tiny government money that they actually do need. While well meaning, it was met with stark negativity.

    Of course, I should mention same family foundations got angry at the episode that showed a Muslim family not frothing at the mouth and screaming "Death to the Great Satan." so you can kinda tell where these people come from.

    Like I said before, there were gay celebrities on the show and Richard Hunt was too... it was never made into an issue, it was never made a deal... nothing was ever discussed, and only people who read tabloids care about celeb sexuality.
  3. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Lol, that's funny.

    I mean I think that is often the best way to teach kids. For instance they didn't make a huge deal about Sesame Street having a diverse cast. They were just there as the trusted authority figures and kids grew up with them and liked them. Then later on in life children may encounter prejudice but ideally they'll know it's bogus because they've grown up admiring people who were different.
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member


    Kids learn prejudice and hate the older they get. It's instilled in them when they're older either by parents, family... or on occasions actual horrid events like robberies, rape... stuff like that. Kids certainly wouldn't have problems with a gay couple any more than they'd have a problem with a racially diverse cast. Given the new age demographic of the show, I'd be surprised if they cared about anything that isn't Elmo. It's the older people that would have the problem. We tend to take this stuff for granted now, but remember that certain communities were up in arms over the fact there were African Americans on the show period. Some tried banning it all together over that reason. We can only imagine what a gay couple being added would face. Even if the characters didn't even so much as exist on the same screen together for more than a minute, we'd have angry letters from bigot groups that hide behind friendly sounding buzzwords like "family." And let's face it, Sesame Workshop isn't as strong to critics (often with limited vocabularies) as it used to be... writing them off as nuts and ignoring them.

    In a few decades, they can try... there's still quite a ways to go.
  5. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    That's up to them. People have a choice when they get older to either follow their upbringing or decide for themselves based on their life experiences. And if they can be exposed to differences early on, that can reinforce their decisions later on.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That always depends on the situation. Some kids abandon those prejudices, some hang onto them... then there are some that only hold them out of fear that their parents will disown them if they disagree.
  7. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Well you can't ever win over everyone. All you can do it plant a seed.

    And even if some people are against gay marriage, that doesn't mean they wouldn't be civil to gay people. There is a big difference.
  8. GonzoLeaper

    GonzoLeaper Well-Known Member

    Well, I know you've said you've stepped out of this conversation, fragglerockr, so don't know if you'll see this- but I just wanted to clarify one last thing. As you mentioned the "It Gets Better" campaign- I am fairly familiar with that. I am also fairly familiar with the Matthew Sheppard law and other such horrible cases. As much as The Bible says homosexuality is a sin, it also says murder is a sin. And I would never want anyone to view themselves as an abomination or worthless. I don't like to see anyone be demeaned for any reason. My intent is never to do that. I don't think the impact of my words would aid anyone towards that- at least I certainly try to make sure my words don't. I am only presenting what The Bible says. In my reading, it says that God loves all of us. And we are all so worthwhile to Him that He gave Jesus to die on the cross for us and rise again to pay for all of our sins.
    You seemed to indicate that you are a Christian and in that case, that's awesome! Praise God! As I'm sure you probably know then, the only reason anyone goes to H*e*l*l is because they have rejected the free gift of love that Jesus offers. If we were condemned for our sins, we would all be there right now. I acknowledge that many out there struggle with homosexuality, including those who have trusted Christ for salvation. Now let me be clear here- I do believe in the supreme God who can do anything He likes- and I do believe He can take away desires for sins immediately if He chooses to in some sort of a miraculous fashion. It's in the realm of possibility certainly. However, we still struggle with temptation from the devil and that will continue until he is finally cast into the fiery lake forever. No matter what sins we struggle with (lying, stealing, lustful thoughts, hedonism, idolatry, etc.) - they are all forgiven by Jesus when we ask Him for His salvation. We are new creatures in Christ (as you quoted yourself in 2 Corinthians 5:17). We struggle with peer pressure as well from the world around us. We also struggle with our own fallen nature that naturally wants to do the wrong thing. I think everyone struggles with homosexuality to some degree, just as everyone struggles with lust and unrighteous anger and idolatry and greed and pride and selfishness and every other sin. 1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This doesn't mean that we won't ever fall to those sins again, but we don't need to.
    If anyone's interested, there is a great recent book that chronicles a man who identifies himself as a gay Christian who also remains celibate in order to not disobey God. ("Washed and Waiting" by Wesley Hill- http://www.amazon.com/Washed-Waitin...0033/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322626920&sr=8-1)
    I mention this just as an example for further reading of Christians who struggle heavily with this aspect of their sexuality but continue to look to the glory that will be revealed in us in Heaven- as Romans 8 talks about- it's not worthy to be compared to our present suffering here.
    And no matter what each of us may struggle with most heavily, it's a continuing battle that will end in victory in Christ ultimately in Heaven. The key is to keep trusting His grace that is our sufficient for our weakness and abiding in His grace. As 2 Thessalonians 3:13 says, "And as for you brothers, never tire of doing what is right."
    Anyway, as was posted earlier, it is not my place to judge nor anyone else's other than God's. (At least in general- there is a place for church discipline, but that is within the Christian church and a separate matter.)
    Just to quickly comment on this here- I would have to respectfully disagree. Yes, compassion and unselfishness are certainly good things, but there is more to being good than just that. As Jesus said, there is no one good but One- God Himself. The only righteousness we can have is from knowing Jesus as Savior- He is the only Good One and He is our righteousness when we accept Christ as Savior by simply praying and asking Him to forgive us and be Lord of our lives. And in doing that, out of gratitude to Him for His salvation, we should obey all of His Word- and He does speak on lust and sexuality, as I've already talked about previously.
    Thank you to everyone for bearing with these posts- I really didn't intend to stray from the topic, but as heralde has pointed out, it is still related at least indirectly, as it is the basis for my reasons as to why I don't like Sesame Street promoting homosexuality as a positive thing. And yes, I realize openly gay actors like Neil Patrick Harris have been on the show, but he also wasn't openly speaking on that aspect of his life on the show either. I don't have an issue with that- I think Harris is a great actor and still love him primarily from "Doogie Howser, M.D.":) [He's great on "How I Met Your Mother" too but the show gets too risque for my tastes most times.]
    As I've said before, he's had to make choices in his life just as everyone has to make choices in life. No matter what the trials or temptations are, the choice is not about whether we have them or not [because it comes with the whole "living in the world" thing, along with the evil desires that come from our whole "sin nature" thing.] but rather the choice is about whether or not we will give in to them and act on them. And the ultimate choice we all must make is deciding what we will believe about God. I believe He has revealed Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ and has made clear that He is the only route to Heaven. I trust Him for salvation alone. I hope everyone will come to know Him too- it's not a matter of moral and/or religious superiority (as I have none) and it's not about wanting to figuratively shove beliefs down throats. It's all about love and showing the love of God- yes, by actions and one of the most important actions Christians can and should take is to tell others about the love of Christ as He commanded us. With eternity at stake, it's imperative.
    Well, I don't want to prolong religious-based debates either so I will let it be, unless someone else wants to talk further on any of this. Actually, if anyone ever wants to talk honestly about God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit and The Bible- I'm always happy to talk on such topics- just PM me.
  9. GonzoLeaper

    GonzoLeaper Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your comments too, Dr.Tooth- I love the Brainy Smurf comparsion- awesome! lol.:laugh: I understand how it can look like finger wagging to quote Bible verses, but I don't think it should be that way. If I quote a Bible verse, it's because it's touched me so much that I want to share it with others. It's something I think would be helpful to others, not hurtful. It's something to consider- that's all. You can dislike and disagree with the conclusions and convictions of the verse(s), but I hope no one would feel like they're just being judged and that's all.
    Of course, I know I need the conviction, so please keep reminding me to keep taking that log out of my own eye before I dare try to get the speck out of anyone else's eye. If I post anything from The Bible, I need to hear it as much as if not more so than anyone else.
    Thanks also for steering the conversation ahead as well. And thanks to everyone who posted for their insights on this difficult, but important topic. Even if I don't agree with everyone's views, I do care about your point of view and I'm sorry for assuming anything about anyone without directly asking for clarification. Everyone's point of view is important and worthy to be heard. I want to be respectful to others as much as I hope for it in return.
  10. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Jesus isn't like the Greek gods who just demanded praise simply because he's an all powerful GOD. When Jesus said to worship him, he meant to follow his example in life on how to treat others. Compassion isn't just a "good thing," it's the foundation of Christ's teachings.

    But yeah like you said, maybe the religious debate shouldn't be prolonged, lol.

    It's all cool. I think we've all learned some valuable lessons today and will be better people for it, lol. Nice debating! :)
  11. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member


    So many so called Christians seem to forget that. All for political reasons, of course. Following the example, helping the less fortunate... that's what needs to be remembered the most.
    heralde likes this.
  12. GonzoLeaper

    GonzoLeaper Well-Known Member

    Well, I think it's more than just that- we do need to worship Jesus because He is the all powerful God (but I see your point about Him being different from the Greek gods and He definitely is)- and we definitely need to follow Jesus' example of compassion and love. That's actually one of the best ways to truly worship Him.
  13. GonzoLeaper

    GonzoLeaper Well-Known Member

    lol- this sounded like the ending to an After School Special- (which I love).:)
    heralde likes this.
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    So, anyone actually know where I can get this T-Shirt?

    [​IMG]

    Or better yet this one?

    [​IMG]

    They really are having a LOT of fun with these shirts, no matter what. Goofing on the Ernie and Bert issue just shows how much wacky fun they wanna have with these. So much more fun than the standard character faces.
    http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Sesame_Street_T-shirts#Ernie_and_Bert

    I wish the Muppet T-Shirts were half as playful.
  15. Bannanasketch

    Bannanasketch Active Member

    Okay, you know what? I haven't been on in a little while but I just went through and read the posts and you know what? Fragglerockr, you're talking about being offensive, but you're here offending others yourself. You ARE trying to censor Gonzoleaper and you are creating absolutely offending posts attacking his views. You are attacking the Bible. You know what? I believe in the bible. I take it as fact. Th Bible is where i find answers. I believe that Jesus Christ is the the son of God and that he is the only way to heaven. You know, if you disagree with me, that's fine. But don't attack my beliefs or anyone else's. You truly did get me angry and offended with your long post earlier. I'm not even going to try to argue with you right now. I'm just letting you know that you should watch what you say as well. If people have differing views than you, then fine. But don't attack people.
    GonzoLeaper likes this.
  16. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    My view, as I've always maintained, is that Ernie and Bert were a quasi spoof on both Jim and Frank's friendship but moreover the funny man/straight man routine popular at the time on tv. But I also think it's important to recognize that it's ok for some to see them as adoptive representatives of the LGBT community.

    Well Mr Noodle's real life passing, like Richard Hunt's passing, was attributed to something some evangelicals call "God's answer to gays". We live in a country where some evangelical Christians denounce Muslims, but both often share similar views that some might find intolerant.

    I see nothing wrong with someday having a same sex human couple, much like they now can have a Hindu or Arabic person on the show.
    Remember, they have to edit out the Count and Amazing Mumford for Muslim viewers in the Middle east

    Yeah....keep thinking that:)
  17. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Mormons til 1979(I guess their dogma is whatever the LDS decides) believed blacks were cursed.

    All over the world homosexuals, particularly in "Christian" Carribean and African nations(as well as Arab Muslim nations) are hunted down, imprisoned and often killed.

    I think sooner or later a charter Sesame Workshop will have to take on is addressing tolerance specifically toward gays and lesbians, probably through the use of human actors. to show positive dedicated gay couples living happily in life. Not hooking up in bath houses, or whatever some evangelicals think.

    I mean I get it, I understand why some Christians have this idea about "the gay lifestyle" as being random hookups, bear and twink clubs and a totally hedonistic lifestyle. Thats why Im grateful for America's top rated family show "Modern family", which portrays gay couples as just ordinary, often mundane people.

    Also, how can someone not like gay people yet be a Muppet fan? The Muppets are colorful, musical, vaudevillian...I cant think of anything more gay friendly. Some of the most influential Muppet people were gay(Richard Hunt, Kermit Love, and a few others people have speculated on)

    Anyways, let's see Christian groups and leaders embrace "it gets better"...heck even Christian Obama has put his support behind the anti bullying/it gets better campaign. Theres an epidemic of suicide/suicide attempts, harassment, beatings and extreme alienations with gay teens in America.
    fragglerockr likes this.
  18. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    And straights can be EXACTLY like that too. I still think the problem is the "Footloose" attitude towards sex permeates those beliefs. Like I always say, no wonder they don't like gays, they barely tolerate what straights do. Biblically, I understand... this is when civilization and society were starting to form, and there was a LOT of hedonism, and these civilizations were trying to punish that attitude so society could forward. That's why certain religions view hard working as a virtue.

    Still, what I don't get is if it's the sex part of being gay that bugs people, why NOT support marriage? Forcing people to couple up, put them into a monogamous relationship where sex dies out slowly. Let them have kids. I always hear complaints from parents that their love life completely nosedived once the kids came.

    Still, while I like how the LGBT community embraces Ernie and Bert as their own, when the characters were just a nod to old school comedy. I saw a movie where Abbot and Costello shared the same bed. No one complained about it.
  19. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    A more innocent time. You see that a lot in old movies, lol.
  20. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Indeed...a much more innocent time. Unless you were black.
    fragglerockr likes this.


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