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The New Yorker’s Bert & Ernie Gay Marriage Cover Sparks Controversy

Fri, June 28, 2013 12:48pm EDT by Andy Swift 11 Comments
Bert Ernie Gay Marriage Cover
Courtesy of The New Yorker

Should the ‘Sesame Street’ stars be used as poster-children for same-sex marriage? The debate begins!

For as long as Bert and Ernie have shared a one-bedroom apartment on Sesame Street, the public has speculated about the pair’s relationship, with many assuming the felt-skinned ‘friends’ are actually something more. The New Yorker‘s latest cover — which features the Muppet-y men cuddling on their couch, watching a news report about the Supreme Court overturning the Defense of Marriage Act — is bringing new attention to the are-they-or-aren’t-they debate. And, naturally, the controversial cover is being met with mixed reviews.

Jack Hunter, who illustrated the controversial cover, posted a statement on The New Yorker‘s official website.

“It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime,” he said. “This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.”

Sesame Street Workshop Responds To Ernie & Bert Gay Rumors

Despite what the public thinks — and I’ll admit, the evidence is damning — Sesame Street Workshop posted an official statement on its Facebook page in Aug. 2011, clarifying that Bert and Ernie are just friends:

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.

Well, there you have it. Just friends. Sorry, New Yorker!

HollywoodLifers, what’s YOUR response to the Ernie-Bert cover? Did The New Yorker go too far, or did it raise an important point? Cast your vote below, then drop a comment with more of your thoughts.

— Andy Swift

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