Ernie and Bert Watch the SCOTUS Decision, Plan Marriage?


Next week's cover of The New Yorker features Sesame Street characters Ernie and Bert cuddling, lit by a television, watching news of the Supreme court.

The magazine reports:

“It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime,” said Jack Hunter, the artist behind next week’s cover, “Moment of Joy.” Hunter, who originally submitted his image, unsolicited, to a Tumblr, continued, “This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.”


  1. Mike in the tundra says

    My husband could never remember which was Bert and which was Ernie. One day I told him that Bert begins with a B and butch begins with a B, and Bert was the butch one. He was able to remember which was which after that. Of course, I’m not all that certain that Bert was all that butch.

  2. Shelly says

    The title should actually read, “Bert and Ernie Come Out!”

    All hell gon’ break loose among the half-dozen evangelicals who don’t yet believe Public Television is a Satanic plot to turn their children into godless, Communist Mapplethorpe/Opera aficionados.

  3. Mary says

    I’m sorry, but I still don’t see why this is necessary. All it does is inflame the people who still oppose gay rights. These people are full of conspiracy theories about gays trying to “recruit” children through books and TV shows and comic books. Here it appears that those charges are being validated. Once gay equality is accepted nationwide that’s the time for a cover like this. I mean it’s not like Ernie and Bert are REAL people who are being denied something important. This cover looks like something created by Pat Robertson to scare his supporters. Now the question they’ll ask is “If they can’t even leave alone something as inconsequential as “Sesame Street” why should I assume they’ll leave alone churches who refuse to marry gays?”

    I know it stinks from your perspective. But the whole country is not blue state. And photos like this won’t make it so any faster.

  4. throwslikeagirl says

    First, Mary, I’m not too sure many of the very conservative homophobic sorts you write about are paying attention to “The NY’er”. Also, it’s exactly simple, whimsical, commonplace images such as this, that bring about an ease with the LGBT community. We becomes less exotic and more everyday. There will always be the extreme sorts; vocal racists, anti-semites, et al. Nothing will change them. C’est la vie. “The dogs bark… the caravan passes…”.

  5. says

    Mary, slap yourself with cold water, girl, and get a grip. The people who are inflamed by this lead sad little lives and will go to their graves as ignorant as they are today.

  6. Lifesart says

    I remember when my older brother realized that gay people were people. I love this cover, gave me a warm fuzzy. If we sit around censoring ourselves because ‘the other side’ will make a controversy of our statements, they win.

  7. Ryan says

    Mary, we cannot cowtow to the bigots who claim gay people “recruit” kids or make other false insinuations of even more sinister natures. If we do, they win and future generations of kids will grow up – lied to by their parents and not corrected by us – that somehow gay people are dangerous. I, at least, will not stand for that. Only self-hating gay people could.

  8. says

    Remember that Sesame Street burst onto televisions in a short time after many States in the Union were dragged kicking and screaming into an Integrated Culture – and S.S.’s focus on cultural and ethnic diversity and love has remained as strong as ever. The show angered many strong-conservative families for its depiction of “mixed cultures”.

    and, at some point, there should be talk of The Gays on the street, because the street represents America.

    but hey, check this out: i think my mum and I gave some pretty good answers 😉

    😀 happy pride!

  9. Kyle says

    How demeaning for gay citizens to have two goofy muppets represent them on a magazine cover. Did they put Fat Albert on the cover when the Voting Rights Act was passed?

  10. Brian in Texas says

    @ Kyle

    Fat Albert wasn’t around in the 60s when the voting rights act was passed. However, if they had been maybe they would have been on the cover seeing as they would have been the ONLY black cast on tv.

  11. Jayce says

    I live in the Philippines and I grew up learning a whole lot of English and values and how to properly interact with people from Sesame Street like any other kid. Upon seeing this cover art, I posted it on my Facebook and received a ton of “likes”. But what I was pleasantly surprised about were the few straight men I studied with way back in High School who now have families of their own, clicking like on the photo with just as much fervor as the rest. What this tells me is that the generation of kids my classmates back in High School will be raising will be brought up with an open mind just like their Dads. I’m so thankful for that.

  12. Jayce says

    and Kyle, I don’t think it’s demeaning at all. I live in a country where it’s supposedly dominated by the Roman Catholic church and where there isn’t even any effort to separate laws from the teachings of the Church. Every politician over here Bible thumps their way into elections. This image, puppets as they may be, cuts across every demographic out there and thrusts them back when they were young innocently watching Sesame Street and these two guys living together and seeing nothing wrong with it. Now that they’re older, they realize that what they thought as kids was right all along. There is nothing wrong with it. Will it be just as powerful if a real gay people were put on the cover? I don’t think so. Everyone else will just see it as “a gay couple”. But Ernie and Bert…everyone, gay or straight, grew up with them.