Alabama Refuses to Air Arthur Episode Featuring Same-Sex Marriage
Alabama Refuses to Air 'Arthur' Episode Featuring Same-Sex Marriage
The director of programming claimed airing it would be a "violation of trust."
The PBS Kids’ show Arthur is continuing to make waves this week for its wedding between a cartoon rat and his husband.
Alabama Public Television has reportedly refused to air the episode, opting instead to play a rerun in its place.
“Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” director of programming for the network, Mike 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.”
Mckenzie also called the idea of airing the episode a "violation of trust" between the network and parents.
It’s not the first time APT has declined to air an episode of a show for same-sex content. In 2005, a spin-off of Arthur, Postcards from Buster, featured the titular character meeting children who had two moms.
After pushback from the US government, PBS ultimately opted not to air the show, though some affiliate stations in large cities went ahead with it. Alabama was not one of them.
But 2005 was practically a lifetime ago, and people are slamming APT for this recent decision to not air a family-friendly marriage between two gay cartoon animals in a country where same-sex marriage is now totally legal.
\u201c[inside the boardroom of Alabama Public Television HQ]\n\nExec 1: If we expose kids to gay rat weddings they may become gay rats themselves...\n\nExec 2: Agreed\n\nOther attendees (in unison): here here\n\n[end scene]\n\n[audience groans in unison] \n\n\ud83d\udc92 \ud83d\udc00 \ud83d\udc00\u2764\ufe0f #Arthur\u201d— MICHAEL @ ForcesOfProgeny \u270a\ud83c\udffb\u270a\ud83c\udffc\u270a\ud83c\udffd\u270a\ud83c\udffe\u270a\ud83c\udfff (@MICHAEL @ ForcesOfProgeny \u270a\ud83c\udffb\u270a\ud83c\udffc\u270a\ud83c\udffd\u270a\ud83c\udffe\u270a\ud83c\udfff) 1558446506
\u201cThis just in: Alabama doing away with day light savings time in favor of just turning the clocks back to 1950.\n\nhttps://t.co/6CJZl5VbOK\u201d— Titan (@Titan) 1558446371
\u201cWay to go, Alabama! Another solid example of your commitment to undermining democracy to support religious ideals. https://t.co/HjS0qGpFo5\u201d— Tau Demille (@Tau Demille) 1558446166
And some find the ban extra bizarre in the wake of Alabama's anti-choice law that will force children to carry babies to term if they end up pregnant.
\u201c\u201cHow will I explain to my 12-year-old child who is being forced to give birth to her rapist\u2019s baby that two cartoon characters are getting married?\u201d https://t.co/VnJAIQZLZV\u201d— Jess Dweck (@Jess Dweck) 1558416201
\u201cYou guys are forcing victims of rape and incest to have babies they may not want to have, but the idea of two people of the same sex having a wedding is too much for you and that\u2019s the tea. https://t.co/WwFfjVWOCo\u201d— Lily\ud83d\udc9c\ud83e\udd0d\ud83d\udda4 \u2660\ufe0f (@Lily\ud83d\udc9c\ud83e\udd0d\ud83d\udda4 \u2660\ufe0f) 1558446540
\u201c#alabama sure has it's priorities uhhh "straight" when a cartoon depiction of a loving gay couple is more offensive to them than the legalized oppression of women's birthing rights. \n\n https://t.co/I9GXEqUj9D\u201d— Matthew Beck (@Matthew Beck) 1558446546
\u201cIf Alabama won't play the Mr. Ratburn wedding episode of Arthur then what will they play in the child maternity ward?\u201d— Fart to Table (@Fart to Table) 1558446234
Regardless of Alabama's perpetually regressive ways, the creator of Arthur, Marc Brown, is thrilled that the show was able to casually depict a same-sex wedding.
"I think that kids need to see what's happening in the world," he said. "I would hate to live in a world that was sanitized and censored."
The episode can be watched on the PBS Kids' website. Yes, even in Alabama.