In 1993, I asked Frank Oz when he gave a talk at the Harvard School of Education if Bert and Ernie represented a gay couple. He said they weren't, they were puppets (and was clearly annoyed by the question).
The disgusting thing about that cover in OP's link is that that pretentious drivel, The New Yorker, is now $6.99.
And the people will pay, R8.
What do you think sits atop the stacks of books and coffee tables of DL's favorite apts?
I've always been under the impression that Bert and Ernie were little kids who lived in an orphanage or a group home. That they weren't adults. Is that not the case?
No, Bert and Ernie were adults who shared an apartment.
Well, Bert actually paid the rent; Ernie leeched off him.
Ernie is awfully childlike to be an adult. But I guess Bert is way too uptight, anal, and boring to be a child.
LOLZ at R2!
Totally unrealistic. No one has black and white televisions with rabbit ears.
Two, really old queens in a rent-controlled apartment, R14. It's accurate.
[quote]It's cute but why not put a REAL gay couple?
Because The New Yorker is counting on this controversy to increase newsstand sales.
[quote]It's cute but why not put a REAL gay couple?
Maybe because its the New Yorker and not US Weekly?
The New Yorker has always used illustrated, metaphorical covers. They're famous for this. And this one is brilliant.
I'm gay and I was one of those waving an American flag, yelling and eventually cheering outside SCOTUS on Wednesday morning.
That said, it makes me kinda sad to see Bert and Ernie used to make social and/or political statements, just like I hated seeing Big Bird used as a political tool last year.
I think of Ernie and Bert as childlike.. And why I'd hope they would support everyone's equal right to be married, I don't need to see them defined as a gay couple. They're childlike creatures, they were meant to exist in their own realm free from the sociopolitical issues of our fucked up world. That's what make/made them special.
The folks at Sesame Street could stand up for all of us and make their opinions heard without placing their beloved characters in the center of social battles of the real world.
Bert and Ernie and all the other SS characters are just too special, too precious to be used in this way and I wish Sesame Street would dial it back a bit.
Cute cover, but the million mom hags will be enraged.
[quote]Ernie is awfully childlike to be an adult. But I guess Bert is way too uptight, anal, and boring to be a child.
That settles it, then. They're a gay couple.
[quote] The folks at Sesame Street could stand up for all of us and make their opinions heard without placing their beloved characters in the center of social battles of the real world.
I'm assuming The New Yorker didn't get the permission of the Sesame Workshop. Has the Sesame Workshop made any statement about the cover? The cover is cute, but I tend to agree with R18. If I were the creator of a children's character, no matter how gay or gay-friendly I am, I would be a little pissed off to see my character injected into a political debate, especially if it was done without asking me.
R18, being gay and having equality are not part of a 'fucked up world.'
It's sweet and harmless.
[quote]Ernie is awfully childlike to be an adult.
He's like Peter Pan!
Neocons already hate Sesame Street, especially since the debate fracas. This will change little.
A conservative friend of mine on Facebook just complained the other week about how SS now has a puppet with a dad in jail. He posted something like "How tragic for our country that children's programs now normalize criminal parents and single-parent households," or some shit like that.
[quote]I hated seeing Big Bird used as a political tool last year.
That what you get for taking acid. It makes you imagine you are seeing things that are actually there.
[quote]I've always been under the impression that Bert and Ernie were little kids who lived in an orphanage or a group home.
Have you never watched Sesame Street? They've always been portrayed as sharing a home and a bedroom (with two twin beds). In addition to the bedroom, their very domestic-looking livingroom is also shown, with a framed portrait of the two of them side-by-side. Their home has never been portrayed as "a group" anything and no one else has ever been shown to live with them; it's quite clear that they are two individuals, apparently unrelated by blood, who have mutually chosen to live together.
As for their ages or "child-like" demeanor: they're puppets on a TV show geared towards pre-schoolers. In addition to living independently and apparently forging a relationship, they're never shown with parents or guardians, don't appear to attend school and are never included with the actual child-muppets (thet little blonde girl, or Rossevelt Franklin) as part of that group. I think it's safe to assume they are muppet representations of adults, or muppets mimicking adult life from a child's perspective (keeping house, maintaining a relationship). Of course they aren't going to be shown acting like real adults; are we supposed to hear Burt discuss his career difficulties or see Ernie struggle with monogamy? It's a kids show that also features a large talking bird and live action adults talking to puppets. Realism is obviously not the goal.
Bert = butch
Ernie = fem
[quote]A conservative friend of mine on Facebook just complained the other week about how SS now has a puppet with a dad in jail. He posted something like "How tragic for our country that children's programs now normalize criminal parents and single-parent households," or some shit like that.
Right, because a child has control over the actions of his/her parent(s) and therefore, should be ostracized...it's the way Jesus would want it.
That's some friend you have there.
This thread is useless without...
[quote](not everyone knows that Bert is Dominican and Ernie is Puerto Rican)
[quote] I'm gay and I was one of those waving an American flag, yelling and eventually cheering outside SCOTUS on Wednesday morning.
When you have to say "I'm gay" and "I was there" you're obviously a lying troll.
I forgot to ask: Does your conservative friend have trouble comprehending that it's not about normalizing/condoning the criminal activity of the parent, but of making the child feel normal?
Oh wait, I guess if he did, he wouldn't be a conservative.
I think it's great! Who ARE all of you pooh-poohers?
What the fuck?!
Don't WE deserve a cover, Sir?
This friend was not all that bad in college. He's uber-Christian, but not anti-gay (from a "libertarian" standpoint, he'd say). He was a nice guy, but I think he still holds terribly immature ideas about how the world works. Like, as r28 pointed out, that children can't control the behavior of their parents.
[quote]I think of Ernie and Bert as childlike.. And why I'd hope they would support everyone's equal right to be married, I don't need to see them defined as a gay couple. They're childlike creatures, they were meant to exist in their own realm free from the sociopolitical issues of our fucked up world. That's what make/made them special.
Do you feel this same way when Mickey and Minnie Mouse are portrayed as a romantic couple with a heterosexual orientation? Or is sexual orientation only "sociopolitical" when it's gay people? Is it "normal" to show Mickey and Minnie this way, but "sociopolitical" (or worse?) when it's Ernie and Burt?
Your whole post is the very definition of self-loathing and you sound like no gay rights activist I've ever met. The overwhelming theme and goal of the gay rights movement has always been equality: equality in housing, in employment, in the military, in marriage, and in our portrayals in the media.
On that last point we have striven to ensure that gay people and fictional characters are given the same treatment as comparable straight people and fictional characters.
Showing two characters whose domestic pairing has been the defining facet of their characters as an actual couple in an intimate relationship is not part of "a fucked up world", whether those two characters are opposite- or same-sexed. That you feel a distinction must be made between the two orientations, and your wish to prohibit showing a homosexual union this way, speaks volumes about your own shame and internalized homophobia.
Again: you're no gay activist.
Sounds like every libertarian I've ever known.
Sesame Street would never have a gay Muppet, but give them a few years and they'll have a family of real people that has two moms or two dads. Whatever else, they've always made Sesame Street a reflection of the real world as it ought to be for kids, and part of that means showing a diverse group of people living together and for the most part getting along (with the exception of Oscar the Grouch).
The Voice of the Night
Tyler Coates, terrible writer, is fashioning himself as the new Larry Kramer. HE IS ANGRY ALL THE TIME.
He's rounding 30, but swears like a 16-year-old in his "professional" writing.
He sure is upset about Bert and Ernie.
I love this magazine cover.
If Sesame Street has ever shown any heterosexual married couple, EVER (and they certainly have), then they have already made themselves "sociopolitical." Homophobes (or the plain ignorant) can't understand this, of course.
This is about a loving relationship. NICE.
I live in the UK (ex-pat), but I will try to see if I can buy a copy somewhere.
I love this cover, but it makes me sad for Big Bird. He will never find true love cause guys only want him for his big, fat, yellow cock.
[quote]I love this cover, but it makes me sad for Big Bird. He will never find true love cause guys only want him for his big, fat, yellow cock.
Not true, baby. I love you for your soft, tight, yellow starfish.
Bert and Ernie are not gay.
R40 It aint that big, trust me.
I never claimed to be a "gay activist" hon, so crawl off that prancing high horse of your's and think before you fire.
I actually think you make a very good point, one that I have to stop and consider... Would I be equally as bothered by seeing Minnie and Micky Mouse portrayed as a sweet hetero couple? No.
Am I self loathing? That's tired and only works on truth self loathing people. You've got an awfully dangerous hairpin trigger there my friend.
Still, I have to give thought to your question: Minnie and Micky Mouse have always been seen as a couple. Bert and Ernie were androgynous "roommates".. Again, childlike and never really presented in the frame Minnie/Micky were.
I actually find the New Yorker cover very sweet and I plan on buying a few. But my point and my feelings toward it still stand. It feels wrong to use them for this, for something outside of the space in which they've always been portrayed.
Had there always been a suggestion they were gay, I think it'd be awesome to see their "coming out" moment. But they haven't been. They were just Bert and Ernie.
R36, it's cool to disagree and doing so doesn't make me self loathing. I'm no professional activist but I've shed lots of tears, sweat and money to see what finally happened this past week and I'm still choked up about it with happiness for what it means for people like us. Standing out in front of SCOTUS on Wednesday morning was the true highpoint of my life. But there's no wrong or harm in me or anyone else feeling like something sacred from our childhood should remain just what they've always been: two, non sexual, non-human, lovable puppets.
I'll be glad to see new Sesame Street characters who are presented as gay: either in real actors or muppets.
I'm into fisting!
Whew! Did I dodge a bullet or what?
Gays want Bert and Ernie to be gay because they want EVERYONE to be gay.
Oh Lambchop, give it up honey. Everyone knows you take it up the ass. Just like that closet-case Kermit.
I can't imagine how many times the Yellow Skin Troll has creamed himself over Bert.
The difference, R49, is that the Sesame St. muppets are aimed solely at child viewers while The Muppet Show cast are designed for adult-and-child audiences.
The reason I dislike this cover is because it is easy fodder for those who claim that part of "the gay agenda" is to subvert children. Ernie and Bert's relationship is clearly platonic. Sexualizing children's TV icons is distasteful.
I've always believed that Oscar the Grouch touched those kids.
[quote]The reason I dislike this cover is because it is easy fodder for those who claim that part of "the gay agenda" is to subvert children.
TRANSLATION: We must watch what we say and do so not to displease a bunch of bigots. Rolling over and letting them call all the shots is the best solution. Making sure the bigots are happy is all that is important.
I find it nearly impossible to believe that people at CTW did not see the gay implications of having two grown male puppets living together, sharing a bedroom and having a dual portrait hanging in their living room.
I think they know they can't say Bert and Ernie are sexual beings and laugh it off, but the subtext is so obvious Helen Keller could see it.
But ... but ... they're FURRIES!
My favorite Gawker comment:
[quote]So Bert is the top? He always struck me as the "dominant on the streets, submissive in the sheets" kind of puppet.\t
If you say that you don't want children to see gay couples or characters on their shows, what you're saying is that you don't want children to get the impression that being gay is a) normal, b) natural, c) commonplace and d) perfectly acceptable. Ergo = homophobia.
Thank you, R59.
So what if Ernie and Bert are gay? So what if children see this and realize their favorite characters might be gay? So what if they see it and ask what it means? So what if they see it and accept it as normal? (the most likely reaction, absent a virulently homophobic environment/upbringing)
GAY = NORMAL
GAY = STRAIGHT
GAY = EQUALITY
44 years after Stonewall, after AIDS, after DADT and now DOMA...after all this and all of the marching and protesting and social change that REAL activists achieved, we have wussy R18s who show up to cheer victory but run from the "activist" label like its a virus, who deem "sacred" and "gay" mutually exclusive concepts to be kept far apart, who've apparently never once questioned the sexuality of "androgynous roommates", fictional or historical, nor considered the obvious disparities in the way straight romance is celebrated by our culture but gay relationships have a long history of being obscured, denied or marginalized.
44 years and that's what we're left with: servile assimilationists with no concept of gay history and no interest in true equality.
Happy Pride! (assuming you have any)
New Yorker subscribers aren't likely to flip out over it.
The Nation once ran a cover with Spongebob nailed to the cross. I think I was the only person who complained.
Tyler Coates needs to get a life, or at least a sense of humor.
...as apparently do a lot of other posters on this thread.
Peppermint Patty and Marcie are scissoring on the cover of this month's Outdoor Life, so this is real progress.
As a child I thought Ernie was a slow adult, mildly retarded, and Bert was his uncle, a caretaker. I didn't assume they were fucking or anything.
I always knew they were gay.
R44 , R18 ,.... Please,just stop.
[quote]No, Bert and Ernie were adults who shared an apartment. Well, Bert actually paid the rent; Ernie leeched off him.
Is Ernie an actor?
I have always believed that Ernie is an insatiable bottom with a penchant for cagemeat and that Bert trolls the steam room at the gym and is quite well known at the local tea rooms and pickle parks.
I'm not really a fan of Bert & Ernie are gay stuff. It rules out that they're just friends and it imposes adult relationships on a place that doesn't have adult couples. Miss Piggy is sexual but remember she's Muppet Show which is more grown up. It could be a little annoying to talk about the sex lives of characters where the audience doesn't have sex lives.
Whatever. The cover is cute. The idea is cute. Straight people can pat themselves on the back for "getting it".
I totally saw Tyler Coates on the street today. Could have stopped him and said 'I see your objection...but chill'
Fine, Bert and Ernie are gay. R69 called it. I still don't need them to be gay.
I think the cover is sweet...about time we see a real glimps into their life together :-}
While sesame street should add a permanent gay couple, I don't think it should be Bert and Ernie. I think it is important to teach children that two straight men can have the same type of relationships two straight chicks can have without rumors of being gay.
I'm using it as my FB profile picture. Everyone loves it.
I love it, it's very cute. R8 is a cheap bastard who only reads US Weekly which he steals from his doctor's office.
Would all the people objecting to the cover also be uncomfortable if a cartoonist ever imagined, say, Daphne and Fred of "Scooby Doo" sitting in front of a TV as a married couple?
Somehow I doubt it. Yet they were fictional characters from a children's show, colleagues in a group of friends, with no sexual or romantic relationship ever made explicit on the show itself. What's the difference here? The assumption imho is that there's something wrong, bad, abnormal, harmful and/or inherently political about being gay.
Shut it, Bert and Ernie are best friends. That's the way it always was.
Who doesn't want to live in a world where you can snuggle with your best friend when you want?
[quote] What's the difference here?
The characters on Scooby Doo are teenagers. Sesame Street is for 2-5 year olds?
[quote]The characters on Scooby Doo are teenagers.
The characters Bert and Ernie are adults.
[quote]Sesame Street is for 2-5 year olds?
Scooby Doo is also watched by kids that age.
Cute! As a kid I always new I was more like Bert and Ernie than The Cookie Monster!
You'd think they would have used El-MO
Nice try. Bert and Ernie are adult what? They're not humans like Daphne and Fred. I don't remember seeing Scooby Doo before age 5. (Maybe that's just me.)
I like the cover, it's cute. I also like Sesame St. as an innocent nonsexual place where the 'adult' relationship between Bert and Ernie is left ambiguous. What's so wrong with that?
One could argue that this is part of an annoying and adolescent American obsession with assigning everything adult sexualities.
[quote] an annoying and adolescent American obsession
I definitely think there's an annoying and adolescent American obsession here, but I think you've misdiagnosed it.
[quote]One could argue that
Well, obviously, one can argue anything.
[quote]Nice try. Bert and Ernie are adult what?
They're plainly puppets meant to represent human beings, not monsters or animals as with some of the other puppets on the show.
Again, I seriously doubt that an illustration in which an artist imagined opposite-sex characters from, say, the Electric Company as a married couple sitting on a couch watching TV at night would elicit shrieks that it was 'too sexual' and destroyed 'ambiguity and innocence.'
[quote]I also like Sesame St. as an innocent nonsexual place where the 'adult' relationship between Bert and Ernie is left ambiguous.
You do realize that this didn't occur on the show, it was in an illustration made by an independent artist, yes?
[quote] What's so wrong with that?
It's Puritan, judgmental and motherhenning, and as with all such ideas, they're better kept to yourself. And when you do yammer on and on about them, you'll certainly hear from the people who disagree. Deal.
[quote] I definitely think there's an annoying and adolescent American obsession here, but I think you've misdiagnosed it.
What would that be?
[quote] Well, obviously, one can argue anything.
By saying that, it means I think it could be or is a good argument. I wasn't just saying it randomly.
[quote] They're plainly puppets meant to represent human beings, not monsters or animals as with some of the other puppets on the show.
[quote] You do realize that this didn't occur on the show, it was in an illustration made by an independent artist, yes?
[quote] It's Puritan, judgmental and motherhenning, and as with all such ideas, they're better kept to yourself.
Nothing judgmental about your attitude towards me I guess. Why should I keep my opinions to myself? I have no problem with people disagreeing with me. I don't think it's puritanical at all to want to leave shit for people under the age 6 alone.
It's ok, R85, some people's parents loved them enough to get that Scooby Doo isn't for three year olds.
[quote]What would that be?
Take a while and think about it, dear.
Gawd, the whole, twee-yet-cringey "Bert and Ernie are Gay" giggle is as fresh as 1993!
Why do puppets have to have an orientation? It's so lame ass.
If you buy the special edition it has a centerfold pull-out where Tinky Winky comes over and joins them in a threesome.
[quote] Take a while and think about it, dear.
Yeah, no, I got it. I just wanted to hear you say it!
Too funny to think that a 44 year old relationship between two gay (live) men would be no longer sexual!
Had the puppets been allowed to age, surely they would appear as in the link below. "Shut Up, Little Man!"
Bert is a chester. Ernie clearly is a child and Bert clearly is an adult and homosexuality is a mental illness and pedophilia is a felony.
Well, all right. Imagine they're friends, then. Wouldn't they still be watching this on TV? Wouldn't they feel happy enough about the ruling to give each other a hug about it (since they were created with the very intent of teaching people to understand and tolerate one another, despite their differences)? Those of you who don't want to imagine them as romantic, fine. They've hugged before on the show and you can imagine they're doing it platonically now. Or you can imagine them in a relationship if you like. Do whatever mental gymnastics it takes to get you to calm down and to realize that you're getting pissy about a magazine cover about cartoon characters.
Scooby doo is an idiotic analogy. Kermit and Miss Piggy and Mickey and Minnie are more apt. Children's literature and entertainment are FILLED with portrayals of obvious hetero-romantic couples, and no one voices concern over that. Every little girl who's heard/seen Cinderella and dreamt of Prince Charming is one example.
There's nothing wrong with this. There's something wrong with you if you think there is.
Where does the Archie-Betty-Veronica polyamory fit into all this?