THE NEW YORKER: SESAME STREET BERT AND ERNIE ‘OUTED’ AS PUPPETS IN THE CLOSET…REALLY?

Out: Bert and Ernie embrace as they watch the Supreme Court decision on DOMA

Bert and Ernie ‘outed’ by The New Yorker in new issue’s cover marking the Supreme Court’s gay marriage rulings

  • The Sesame Street male roommates have inspired speculation over the years about whether they are romantically involved
  • The cover was chosen after the artist submitted the image unsolicited to a Tumblr

By Ashley Collman

For the historic Supreme Court over ruling of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), The New Yorker is running a cover of one of American pop culture‘s unconfirmed  ‘gay’ couples: Bert and Ernie.

Bert and Ernie are male roommates on the iconic PBS kid’s show Sesame Street.

The cover shows Bert cuddling up to Ernie on a couch, both of them watching the Supreme Court decision.

 
Out: Bert and Ernie embrace as they watch the Supreme Court decision on DOMAOut: Bert and Ernie embrace as they watch the Supreme Court decision on DOMA

 

 
Puppets in the closet? For years, people have speculated whether or not there was something more between Bert and Ernie, the male roommates on Sesame StreetPuppets in the closet? For years, people have speculated whether or not there was something more between Bert and Ernie, the male roommates on Sesame Street

For years adults have speculated if there was something more to the relationship, but the show’s producers have taken a hard-line saying the two are NOT romantically involved. 

MailOnline reached out to Sesame Workshop, the shows’ production company, but they have not returned calls for comment.

Others have been outspoken, and are not happy about it.

On Flavorwire one critic wrote that the cover is ‘infantilizing’, ‘homophobic’ and ‘offensive’ in a scathing response to its release that explained why it is ‘conveniently cheap and cloying’.

This isn’t the first time that Bert and Ernie have been prematurely outed. In 2011, a Tweet from the Sesame Street account seemed to out Bert.

The Tweet was ‘written’ by Bert and said ‘Ever notice how similar my hair is to Mr. T’s? The only difference is mine is a little more ‘mo,’ a little less ‘hawk.’ 

 
Is he or isn't he? The famous 2011 tweet that seemed to out BertIs he or isn’t he? The famous 2011 tweet that seemed to out Bert

‘Mo’ being a short form for homosexual, many interpreted this as a subtle acknowledgement by the producers that Bert and Ernie were indeed gay.   

However, Sesame Workshop responded, saying that wasn’t the case.

‘Bert and Ernie are best friends,’ Sesame Workshop wrote in a statement. ‘Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits…they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.’

 The cover’s artist, Jack Hunter, believes that the image brings children into the celebration of same-sex rights. 

‘It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime, said hunter on the New Yorker’s blog. ‘This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.’

The New Yorker decided on the image after Hunter originally submitted it, unsolicited, to a Tumblr.

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