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Bert & Ernie Gay? 'The New Yorker' Thinks So

If your kids watch Bert and Ernie, maybe you’ve wondered whether they’ve picked up on the fact that they might be gay. Most of us didn’t suspect this when we were kids, but hey, your offspring are a whole lot savvier.

And if you had this week’s New Yorker lying around the house, that could have hammered their suspicions home. On the cover, titled “Moment of Joy,” Ernie and Bert snuggle on a couch, Ernie’s head on Bert’s shoulder, as they watch the Supreme Court strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, which might lead to the widespread legalization of gay marriage.

Cover artist Jack Hunter said, “It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime. This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.” But not everyone agrees this cover is a good thing.

Some have criticized the cover for sexualizing a children’s show. Others have called it “demeaning” or “crass,” while Slate’s June Thomas called the Bert and Ernie illustration “a terrible way to commemorate a major civil rights victory.”

Sesame Workshop, the producers of Sesame Street, haven’t commented on the cover but in 2011 they released a statement saying “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.”

Photo via New Yorker

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