The New Yorker magazine is paying tribute to the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions for marriage equality this week with a cover featuring “Sesame Street” icons Ernie and Bert.
The cover, however, is drawing mixed reactions as it depicts the two characters embracing in front of a TV with Bert’s arm around Ernie, and Ernie leaning on his shoulder. Meanwhile, the TV is showing an image of the Supreme Court justices in their black robes.
The artist behind the picture, which has been dubbed “Moment of Joy,” is Jack Hunter, who noted in the article that “It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime.” He goes on to note in the New Yorker’s website that “This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.”
Bert and Ernie’s relationship on the show has long been a target of speculation on the nature of their relationship, despite Children’s Television Workshop, which produces “Sesame Street,” releasing a statement in 2011 noting only that 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 stated. “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.”