The New Yorker Celebrates Gay Marriage with Bert and Ernie Cover

Is it “Sesame Street” or Castro Street? The New Yorker’s latest cover says it’s the latter. 

To mark the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on DoMA and Prop 8, the July issue’s “Moment of Joy” cover featured Bert and Ernie snuggling on the couch – Bert with his arm wrapped around Ernie, and Ernie with his head on Bert’s shoulder. The two glued their eyes to a television screen picturing the nine Supreme Court justices. 

As an explanation, the artist, Jack Hunter, gushed to the New Yorker, “It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime.” Hunter first submitted his unsolicited masterpiece via Tumblr. “This is great for our kids,” he continued, “a moment we can all celebrate.” 

The Huffington Post lauded The New Yorker for “one of its most awesome covers of all time” showcasing “what many people consider to be one of the most famous gay couples in pop culture.” Business Insider recognized the “brilliant cover” as a “a clear nod to the effect that pop culture has played in shifting public opinion on gay marriage over the past decade.” Not to be left in the dust, liberal siteSalon translated the image as Bert and Ernie “coming out.”

Denying the rumored romance between its characters, “Sesame Street” clarified in a 2011 statement: "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.” The statement continued to spell out how “they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."

The Hufffington Post countered, “Even so, now that the pair have been celebrated as the ultimate gay duo, wouldn't it be time to bring them a little closer together?” 

Looks like Rubber Duckie has some competition.

Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture at the Media Research Center