Alabama Public Television refuses to air same-sex wedding episode of cartoon Arthur

  • 22/05/2019
Alabama Public Television refuses to air same-sex wedding episode of cartoon Arthur
Photo credit: PBS

Alabama Public Television has refused to show an episode of beloved cartoon Arthur which features a same-sex marriage.

The episode entitled 'Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone' aired across the US as the premiere of the show's 22nd season - but not in Alabama.

The storyline follows Arthur and his school mates as they discover their teacher Mr. Ratburn is engaged, eventually attending his wedding to another man - who happens to also be an aardvark.

According to Paper Magazine, the word "gay" is not used at any point during the show.

Director of Programming for APT, Mike McKenzie, said the episode would betray the "trust" parents placed in the broadcaster.

"Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children's programs that entertain, educate and inspire," McKenzie told NBC News.

"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."

McKenzie added that APT did not want to "[take] away the choice" of parents who felt the subject matter was "inappropriate" for their children.

LGBTQ organization GLAAD dubbed the public broadcaster's decision "homophobia, plain and simple" on social media.

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