On Monday, AL.com reported that Alabama’s public television stations refused to air the season premiere of the popular cartoon, because the episode features a same-sex wedding. When it was revealed that the beloved anteater’s teacher, Mr. Ratburn, was getting married to his husband, APT’s director of programming, Mike Mckenzie, informed PBS that the state would not be airing the “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone” episode.
“Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” McKenzie explained. “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 is not the first time Alabama has objected to Arthur. In 2005, APT blocked an episode in which Arthur’s bunny friend Buster Baxter has a playdate with a girl who has two mothers. APT reportedly felt as though airing a gay relationship will cause parents to distrust their programming.
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Second Picture Courtesy of NBC and Getty Images
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