Alabama Public Television refuses to air episode of 'Arthur' that features a gay wedding citing parents' trust in their content
Alabama Public Television have pulled an episode of PBS' 'Arthur' that included a gay marriage.
In the series's season 22 premiere, Mr. Ratburn, Arthur's third-grade teacher reveals he is gay and gets married to a local chocolatier. Since the show first aired in 1996, 'Arthur' had never mentioned about Ratburn's sexuality. So, the news of his wedding was a surprise to his fans.
Around a week ago the episode aired nationwide and according to a press release by APT, the public television affiliate revealed that they have no plans to air the episode again.
Mike Mckenzie the director of programming at APT revealed he was notified by WGBH and PBS in mid-April about the episode 'Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone' after which he decided to show a re-run instead of the exact episode.
"Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire," told AL.com.
"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 that APT has refused to air an episode of 'Arthur' for having characters who are in a same-sex relationship. Previously in 2005, the network pulled an episode where Buster the bunny visited a girl's who had two mothers.
“Our feeling is that we basically have a trust with parents about our programming. This program doesn't fit into that," Allan Pizzato, APT's then-executive director told AL.com in 2005.
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