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21 May, 2019 16:57

Episode of children's show 'Arthur' featuring same-sex marriage pulled from Alabama public TV

Episode of children's show 'Arthur' featuring same-sex marriage pulled from Alabama public TV

Alabama’s public TV network has declined to broadcast an episode of children’s cartoon ‘Arthur’ which features a same-sex marriage, arguing it would shake parents’ trust in the network.

In the nixed episode, which aired elsewhere in the US last week, Arthur the aardvark and friends attend a same-sex wedding for their elementary school teacher, Mr. Ratburn.

Though the episode was celebrated in some quarters for imparting lessons of tolerance and diversity, the Alabama Public Television (APT) network saw matters differently, opting to broadcast a rerun instead.

Also on rt.com 'Arthur' character comes out, FINALLY giving LGBT cartoon rat population representation on kid's TV

An official at the network said APT was merely looking out for parents.

“Parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision,” APT’s director of programming Mike McKenzie told AL.com, adding “although we strongly encourage parents to watch television with their children and talk about what they have learned afterwards.”

“We also know that children who are younger than the ‘target’ audience for Arthur also watch the program,” McKenzie said.

Reactions online were somewhat polarized. Some suggested the program would “indoctrinate children.”

The decision also triggered an intense backlash.

"Teaching tolerance is [your] job!" one user tweeted.

While others took a more comical approach.

Ok, that one didn't actually happen.

One user took the opportunity to fact check her fellow commenters.

“Ima let y’all continue with the gay cartoon wedding debate, but can y’all stop calling Arthur a RAT... he is an aardvark.”

Last week’s controversy isn’t APT’s first run-in with Arthur. In 2005, the network skipped another episode which revealed one of the animated characters had two moms, arguing at the time to AL.com “we basically have a trust with parents about our programming. This program doesn’t fit into that.”

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