Tag: John Oliver

Host John Oliver presents his children's book

Teacher Under Fire for Reading LGBT Book to Kids

You’ve probably heard of Mike Pence, the current United States Vice President best known for his stance on conversion therapy and LGBT+ rights. (To summarize, his stance on the last one is no.) His lesser-known achievements include the impressive and clever naming of his pet bunny, Marlon Bundo. One of the most important things to know about Bundo is that he’s more insta-famous than you are, and he’s used his fame to establish a political platform. “This is Harley after being swamped by a wave of liberal tears,” Bundo’s Instagram said in a post including a photo of brother and co-conspirator Harley, Pence’s dog, freshly damp from a bath. Not only is Bundo the first rabbit to take a ride in Air Force Two, he’s also the first rabbit to write a children’s book: Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President.

 

Marlin Bundo himself, with 'his' children's book

Image Via CBS Denver

The second most important thing about Bundo, if you were wondering, is that he’s named after bisexual actor Marlon Brando. And the most important thing of all is that he’s the homosexual protagonist of A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, a competing children’s book from the mind of late night TV host John Oliver and comedian Jill Twiss. The story depicts Bundo’s struggles as he seeks to marry male bunny Wesley—and the competing book’s release date was set to just one day before Pence’s original would hit the market. Take a wild guess which book was the bestseller.

While the showdown took place in May 2018, a more recent controversy has arisen. Before getting into the details, let’s examine the content of the book: Bundo struggles with his feelings for male bunny, Wesley, in a cute and endearing tale devoid of any sexual content—and, surprisingly, devoid of any serious satire. (Of course, the book’s title and release date are already the satire.) The publisher, Chronicle Books, reported that the book is not a “straight-up” parody (maybe because there’s nothing straight about it). Instead, it’s a story “about marriage equality and democracy.”

“This is a real children’s book. This isn’t some adult book telling Mike Pence to go f##k himself,” Oliver stressed. “Although, in buying it, that’s exactly what you’d be doing.”

 

Marlon Bundo and Wesley's wedding ceremony

Image Via Amazon

 

Today, a first-grade teacher is under fire for reading the book to students. Parents’ complaints have been varied, including concerns that the book had not been pre-approved by the school district. Others complained that the book contained age-inappropriate content. “It’s not something that should be in an elementary school,” one parent responded. “That’s for me to decide at home—what I want to teach my child and what I feel they are able to handle.”

For some parents, the concern was not the maturity level of the content—it was the content itself. “Noah comes home one day and asks us if it’s OK for two male bunnies to get married,” one man commented. “I said, ‘By our beliefs, no.'”

Until the investigation is complete, the Seminole County School District is unable to comment on any possible repercussions.

 

Featured Image Via Out Magazine