PBS recently ignited controversy when it aired an episode of the children’s cartoon “Arthur” featuring a gay wedding.
While many parents were outraged by the attempt to influence children through programming, the state of Alabama took a stance.
Alabama Public Television announced this week that it would not air the episode at all in the state.
“The episode, titled ‘Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,’ aired nationwide on May 13 as the opener to the show’s 22nd season. Arthur and his school-age pals attend the wedding of teacher Mr. Ratburn to his male partner,” the Daily Wire reports.
In a statement justifying the episode, PBS claimed “PBS Kids programs are designed to reflect the diversity of communities across the nation.”
The statement added: “We believe it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children who look to PBS Kids every day.”
Instead of airing the gay marriage episode, Alabama Public Television showed viewers a re-run.
APT’s director of programming, Mike Mckenzie, told AL.com that they made the decision based on its responsibility to parents.
“Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” Mckenzie said in an email.
He continued: “More importantly – although we strongly encourage parents to watch television with their children and talk about what they have learned afterwards – parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision. We also know that children who are younger than the ‘target’ audience for Arthur also watch the program.”
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