Health

A Company's Plan to Use Sesame Street for STD Testing Is Backfiring

May 4th 2016

By:
Almie Rose

We all remember the classic "Sesame Street" episode where Bert and Ernie discuss STD results, right?

Yeah, no, that never happened.

But that didn't stop Mately, an early-detection STD testing at-home kit, from trying to use the popular Muppets to sell their product.

In the least surprising turn of events ever, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind "Sesame Street," was not pleased about a company using their characters without authorization.

"The Mately ad is an unauthorized, unlicensed use of our characters," a spokesperson told TMZ. "We will be contacting Mately and the appropriate parties with a cease and desist letter instructing them to take this down."

The ad then disappeared faster than Carly Fiorina's vice presidential hopes.

Mately says they didn't mean to "tarnish the Sesame Street brand," according to TMZ.

This isn't the first scandal for Bert and Ernie.

For years, the felt roommates have been the speculation of gay rumors. In 2011, Sesame Workshop decided to put those rumors to rest by posting an official statement on their Facebook page:

"Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves.

Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."

Bert and Ernie aren't Mately's only targets.

Their campaign, which relies on the slogan, "Help us take STD testing out of the Stone Age," has been focusing on another brightly colored character:

So far, Donald Trump hasn't threatened Mately with a lawsuit.

More on STD/STIs.

The American Sexual Health Association reports that "more than half of all people will have an STD/STI at some point in their lifetime," which may explain why Mately decided to use such widely recognized figures as a means of taking the stigma out of having an infection, but it's also confusing as to why the STD testing company would choose characters associated with children.

The CDC reported in 2014 that those who “acquire half of all new STDs” are people aged 15 to 24 years old.

Which is still too old for "Sesame Street."

[H/T TMZ]