Alabama Public Television Refuses To Air Cartoon With Gay Wedding
BIRMINGHAM, AL — The state of Alabama has been in the news all over the world in recent weeks due to a controversial bill passed banning abortion statewide, but don’t think the state is done making national headlines. Alabama Public Television made a decision not to air a May 13 episode of the animated children’s show, “Arthur,” because it portrays a same-sex wedding.
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The decision by APT programming director Mike McKenzie has received backlash from LBGTQ groups and national media alike, but Mckenzie issued a statement defending the organization’s decision.
“Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” Mckenzie said in a statement. “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.”
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The show is a joint Canadian/American series which debuted in 1996 about an eight-year-old aardvark named Arthur Read and his friends, who live in the fictional Elwood City. The May 13 episode centers on teacher Mr. Ratburn’s marriage to a man. A 2005 episode that portrayed a rabbit with two mothers was also pulled from programming at APT, according to an NBC report.
The episode has been praised by many, and criticized by some who feel the show is “grooming” children to participate in an LBGTQ+ lifestyle, according to a BBC report.
The episode can be viewed on pbs.org.