The New Yorker just dragged Bert and Ernie out the closet.
Via NYPost reports:
The New Yorker magazine “outed” “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie on a new cover — which features the sexually ambiguous duo cuddling on a couch while watching news about this week’s pro-gay-marriage Supreme Court rulings.
The cover shows Bert with his arm around Ernie, sitting in front of a TV that displays an image of the Supreme Court justices.
It’s titled “Bert and Ernie’s Moment of Joy,” but a spokesman for “Sesame Street” was less than overjoyed to talk about it.
Philip Toscano, communications director for Sesame Workshop, declined to say whether the head-turning art is a sign the Muppets are ready to come out of the closet.
“Sesame Workshop is not commenting on this story,” he said.
He also declined to talk about the characters’ relationship, even though the company has claimed Bert and Ernie are just friends.
After a flood of press inquires, the company in 2011 posted on Facebook a statement about the characters’ relationship.
“Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach pre-schoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves,” it read.
“Even though they are identified as male characters . . . they remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation.”
But that hasn’t stopped fans from cheering on the puppet love — and pointing out that the pair sleeps in the same bedroom, takes baths together and sings to Liberace.
“It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime,” the cover’s illustrator, Jack Hunter, told the magazine’s culture blog.
“This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.”
Is this a teachable moment for the kids or something that will only confuse them more — especially because Bert and Ernie aren’t officially a gay couple?