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SEE: The 'New Yorker' Cover That Has People Talking

Bert and Ernie — yes, Sesame Street's Muppets — have been thrust yet again into the gay marriage debate.

This time, for its July 8 and 15 issue, The New Yorker decided to use an illustration of Bert and Ernie for their coverage of the Supreme Court's decisions on two landmark gay marriage cases. The illustration shows Bert and Ernie cuddling on a couch while watching what seems to be TV news coverage of the court's decisions:

The illustrator called next week's cover "Moment of Joy."

"It's amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime," the New Yorker quotes Jack Hunter as saying. "This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate."

As you can imagine, the cover already has people talking. The Daily Beast's headline: " 'New Yorker' Outs Bert and Ernie."

Jordan Weissmann, of The Atlantic, tweeted: "Fact error by the @NewYorker: Bert and Ernie could not have watched the court ruling on TV."

Of course, as we told you back in 2011, Sesame Workshop says the two male Muppets who share a house and a bedroom are just 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 workshop said.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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