Alabama Public Television Won’t Run ‘Arthur’ Episode Featuring a Gay Wedding
Shortly after PBS revealed that its long-running children’s program Arthur would feature Mr. Ratburn’s wedding to another male character, Alabama Public Television (APT) is refusing to air the installment.
Originally airing nationally on Monday, May 13, the episode, titled “Mr. Ratburn & The Special Someone,” saw Arthur and his classmates attend the wedding ceremony of their teacher. For the first time in the show’s history, the wedding was between two men. But the episode will not be featured on Alabama’s local PBS channel.
According to the Associated Press, instead of showing the same-sex marriage episode, APT opted for a rerun. On AL.com, it was reported that Mike McKenzie, director of programming at APT, reportedly decided not to air the episode after learning about it in April and and has no plans to do so.
“Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” McKenzie told AL.com in an email. “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 isn’t the first time that APT has chosen to not air an episode featuring a same-sex couple. In 2005, the station supposedly refused to air an episode in which Buster visits a girl with two mothers.
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