Mately is a company that makes at-home HIV/STD testing kits, and they decided to get a little creative so they used the roommates and best friend puppets Bert & Ernie in a social media ad joking about the ease of use of their testing kits. Because frustrated people who feel the need to sexualize children's puppets have been suggesting that Bert & Ernie are gay for years, and therein lies the funny. Only one problem, the Mately company forgot to ask Sesame Street for permission to use Bert & Ernie's likeness.
A spokesperson for Sesame Workshop says:
"The Mately ad is an unauthorized, unlicensed use of our characters. We will be contacting Mately and the appropriate parties with a cease and desist letter instructing them to take this down."
Mately wised up quickly, they have removed all of the Bert and Ernie images from their site and social media controlled by them, and they have made a statement that there was no intent to "tarnish the Sesame Street brand."
Sesame Street has already famously clarified back in 2011 on their own Facebook page that Bert & Ernie are not gay, in response to online petitions:
“Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends even though they’re very different from one and another.
They’re puppets and don’t have a sexual orientation.”
Today we learned, muppets don't have sexual orientation and can thus not contract STD's. Today's letters are C and D.