OH WE’RE GOING TO FIGHT ABOUT MUPPETS NOW? OK, LET’S DO THIS. If somehow you managed to avoid the breaking Sesame Street news yesterday, first of all, bless you. Second of all, may I please have the name of the contractor who built your bunker, I am going to be in need of one until this Kavanaugh mess goes away. But third, what had happened was, Mark Saltzman, a former Sesame Street writer who joined the series in the early eighties gave an interview in which he claimed he wrote Bert and Ernie as if they were a gay couple.
People freeeeeeeeeeeaked out. Exhibit A:
So then Frank Oz tweeted that they weren’t gay:
And Sesame Workshop issued a statement denying that Ernie and Bert are in a relationship or even have a sexual orientation:
But then this led to an argument about whether or not puppets can have sexual orientations, an argument to which the puppets of Avenue Q might have something to add. Also, if puppets don’t have sexual orientation, that might come as news to Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Gonzo.
So a couple of things:
1. The writer in question says that his comments were misconstrued, and if you actually read his quote, it’s obvious that he was just discussing his writing process and about writing what he knew:
Ok, so we have to address—that’s the big question, right? In the writer’s room, you’re all adults. Were you thinking of Bert & Ernie as a gay couple? Did that question ever come up?
I remember one time that a column from The San Francisco Chronicle, a preschooler in the city turned to mom and asked “are Bert & Ernie lovers?” And that, coming from a preschooler was fun. And that got passed around, and everyone had their chuckle and went back to it. And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie & I as “Bert & Ernie.”
Nowhere does the interviewer ask whether Bert and Ernie are gay, and nowhere does Saltzman say they are.
But 2. Why not make Ernie and Bert gay? Sesame Street has long featured families and relationships of all kinds, so what real harm could come from normalizing the notion of same-sex relationships for children via Bert and Ernie? Just last month a 9-year-old boy who had come out as gay killed himself after he endured relentless bullying at school. I’m not saying that gay characters on Sesame Street would have saved him but maybe if he had more characters to identify with he wouldn’t have felt so alone, and maybe if his classmates had been exposed at a formative age to the idea that being gay is normal, he wouldn’t have been abused in the first place. And love is love is love is love is a message tailor-made for Sesame Street which has always been an inclusive place. YOU LOVE WHO YOU WANT TO LOVE, BERT & ERNIE, AND DON’T LET ANYONE ELSE DEFINE YOU.
Maroon 5 will be your Superbowl Halftime act which sounds about right. In fact, I’m surprised that Maroon 5 hasn’t already been the Superbowl Halftime act? Doesn’t it seem like they have been the Superbowl Halftime act like three times already?
Chuck Lorre should call Damon Lindelof, I’m sure he has some unused ideas lying around.
They’re still talking about that Mad About You reboot for some damn reason. (Paul Reiser’s got nothing else to do.)
Discovery is being sued over Street Outlaws: Memphis after the cast beat up a couple, which is surprising behavior from the cast of something called “Street Outlaws.”
I love Jake Tapper.
Sex Monster News
NOPE, GARRISON KEILLOR, NOPE. RETURN TO YOUR HOLE, PLEASE.
Julie Chen taped a message saying goodbye to The Talk — SEE YA! — but she’s staying at Big Brother. For now.
Meanwhile, get a load of this: Les Moonves still has office space at CBS, security services paid for and access to the company jet. COME. ON.
Will Bill Cosby go to jail? I CERTAINLY HOPE SO.
Jonathan Kaiman, the Beijing bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times’ office, has resigned after allegations that he had been sexually aggressive came out and were investigated.
- Greenleaf has been renewed at OWN.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender is going to be reimagined as a live-action series at Netflix.
- A Higher Loyalty is about to be developed into a miniseries by CBS.
- Loki, Scarlett Witch and other Marvel characters are probably getting their own limited series on Disney’s streaming service.
- Kelly Clarkson is going to have her own talk show and it will replace Steve Harvey’s show, Steve. Steve has not been canceled and it’s unclear what will happen with it.
- Danny Issues has been ordered by Fox.
- Richard Lovely is being developed by Fox.
- The Tattooist of Auschwitz will be turned into a TV series.
- Shion Takeuchi has signed an overall deal with Netflix.
- Dave Annable and Louis Herthum are joining the cast of Netflix’s What/If.
- Chloe Bailey, Halle Bailey, and Luka Sabbat have been upped to series regulars on Grown-ish.
Mark Your Calendars
- The Haunting of Hill House will debut on Netflix on October 12 and it LOOKS GOOD.
- The Downton Abbey movie will be released in Fall 2019.
- Flight of the Conchords: Live will debut on HBO on October 6.
- The Guest Book returns on TBS on October 23.
- Harvey Birdman, Attorney General premieres on Adult Swim on October 14.
- Unearthed premieres on Science Channel on October 2.
- Suze Orman at the Apollo: Women and Money will air on OWN on October 1.
- Shirkers will debut on Netflix on October 26. It looks … interesting.
- Netflix made a promo advertising some of their horror offerings. Here is a list of some of the offerings.
Dennis Norden, U.K. TV host and comedy writer
I Feel Bad: One-hour series premiere of the new sitcom about how hard it is to be a woman. AMEN. I’ve read some half-warm reviews of this series — people seem to think there’s potential, but that the show isn’t there yet — but can we just talk about what a terrible title this is? I know it’s based on the book “I Feel Bad. All Day. Every Day. About Everything.” But I think it’s going to turn off some viewers. 9 p.m., NBC
The Sinner: Y’ALL NEED TO FIND JULIAN. Season finale. 9 p.m., USA
America’s Got Talent: A winner is chosen and there is about a 99% chance it will be a singer. Season finale. 7 p.m., NBC
Masterchef: A winner is chosen and there is about a 99% chance it will be a cook. Season finale. 7 p.m., Fox
Suits: Donna does what’s best for the firm in the season finale. 8 p.m., USA
American Horror Story: Apocalypse: “The Morning After” 9 p.m., FX
The Real Housewives of Dallas: “Smashing Friendships” 8 p.m., Bravo
Late Night: Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Kevin Hart, Robert Irwin Late Night with Seth Meyers: Matthew McConaughey, Taran Killam, Lady Antebellum, Sean Kinney The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Jane Fonda, Willie Nelson The Late Late Show with James Corden: Kaley Cuoco, Joel McHale, Gaz Coombes Jimmy Kimmel Live: Peter Dinklage, Issa Rae, Ann Wilson Conan: Fred Armisen, Alice Eve, Jonathan Wilson The Daily Show: Eli Saslow & Derek Black Watch What Happens Live: Leeanne Locken, Brendan Schaub
|CW||Burden of Truth
|NBC||America’s Got Talent
|I Feel Bad
|I Feel Bad