Bert and Ernie on The Cover of New Yorker Magazine to Celebrate Marriage Equality
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New Yorker magazine has put “Sesame Street's” Bert and Ernie on the cover this week in celebration of the Supreme Court's decision on gay marriage - as speculation swirls over the sexual orientation of America's favourite Muppets.
Seated closely together on a couch, Bert has his arm around his orange colored friend Ernie. The pair gaze at a picture of the Supreme Court justices displayed on their television set.
Drawn by Arizona-based illustrator Jack Hunter, the picture is titled "Moment of Joy." Producers for the children’s show said they wouldn’t be commenting on the portrayl.
Hunter told the New Yorker that it has been "amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved. "This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate." The cover art was actually a repurposed rendering that Hunter created last May, after President Obama told ABC's Robin Roberts that he supported gay marriage.
In the 2012 version, the “Sesame Street” characters are positioned in the same spot but instead of the nine Supreme Court Justices on their TV, there is a screen grab of President Obama from the interview.
The artist commented last year that he's "certainly not the first person to speculate about Bert & Ernie's more personal and private relationship. "I thought they were well suited to represent how a lot of gay couples must have felt hearing Obama's comments (to ABC’s Roberts) … after all, they've been together for almost 50 years … as 'just friends' or otherwise," Hunter said last May.
During his interview with Roberts on May 9, Obama said "I've just concluded that — for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that — I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
Given their on-screen closeness, Bert and Ernie's relationship has gone under the microscope but producers have denied anything but a platonic rapport.
In 2011, "Sesame Street" addressed the rumors insisting "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…they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."