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.
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.
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.”
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.”