Alabama Public TV chose not to air the Season 22 premiere of animated series Arthur, which includes the same-sex wedding of beloved elementary school teacher Mr. Ratburn.
According to a report from AL.com, APT director of programming Mike McKenzie chose to show a rerun from previous season instead.
“Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” Mckenzie tells the site. “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.”
In 2005, the pubcaster also pulled a controversial episode of Arthur spinoff Postcards From Buster, which included several children with lesbian moms.
In this CBC segment, “Arthur” creator Marc Brown explains in this CBC segment. why he thought it was important to have a gay wedding featured on the show. “We saw it as a great learning experience and a great way to portray a part of life that is seldom portrayed on TV,” he notes. “A parent has the opportunity to watch the show with their kids and explain things and expand the story that they’re watching together and share their values. Art reflects life and life reflects art. Kids need to see what’s happening in the world.”
The episode, titled “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” is currently available to stream on PBS’ official site. Click here to watch the episode.