On again off again gay rights icons Bert and Ernie aren't gay. Repeat: The famous puppets are not in a same-sex relationship.
That's the word from the producers of Sesame Street, who had to quell rumours about the duo's personal life yet again today after the theory - oft repeated over the show's nearly 50-year history -- was stoked by an interview with a former writer.
"I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were (gay)," said Mark Saltzman, who wrote for the show throughout most of the 1980s, in an interview with LGBTQ website Queerty.
"I don't think I'd know how else to write them, but as a loving couple... Because how else?"
Mr Saltzman said he was inspired to write their loving interactions and minor quibbles by his own relationship.
But in a tweet this morning, Sesame Street issued a statement insisting that "they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation".
"As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends," producers said. "They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves."