The cover, titled “Moment of Joy,” shows the Sesame Street pair cuddling as they watch a television set featuring members of the United States Supreme Court. The suggestion is that the characters were happily celebrating the recent SCOTUS rulings on gay marriage.
There has been plenty of speculation about Bert and Ernie over the years, which intensified after a tweet from the Sesame Street account which quoted Bernie talking about his mohawk hair cut that some took to be a hint to the character’s sexuality.
The tweet read: “Bert: 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.'”
When a petition was circulated in 2011 urging the pair to marry, Sesame Street Workshop posted a statement on their Facebook page insisting that the characters were just “best friends.”
“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,” the statement said.
The New Yorker posted on its site that the image was created by artist Jack Hunter who said he had originally submitted the picture to a Tumblr.
“It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime,” the magazine’s website quotes Hunter as saying. “This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.”
By Lisa Respers France
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