The internet blew up with the news that the twenty-second season premiere of Arthur would feature a same-sex wedding. The popular children’s cartoon is based on a series of books written and illustrated by Marc Brown. A lot of strong opinions were made when the episode aired, especially in one certain state.
Alabama Public Television decided not to air the episode “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone” which featured the wedding. Instead, the network decided to show a rerun episode instead, and has no intention of showing the episode in the future.
When asked about the decision, APT director of programming Mike McKenzie said that airing the episode would “take away the choice of parents who felt it was too inappropriate for their children”.
In a statement to AL.com, McKenzie further explained his reasoning:
“Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than fifty years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire. 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.”
This didn’t sit well with Arthur creator Marc Brown. In an interview with People magazine, Brown stood by the episode and will continue to defend it:
“Why shouldn’t their teacher marry another man? We all know people who are gay, who are trans, and it’s something that is socially acceptable. Why is there this discomfort that it takes a leap into our national media?” he adds. “I don’t want children or people who are different to feel excluded. That’s not the kind of world we want to live in. And we want children to be educated so they can see there’s not just one type of family. Everyone should feel represented. I think we did that with Arthur.”
This is sure to be a hot-button topic for many, so what do you think? Do you agree with the choice to not air the episode?
Featured Image Via PBSKids