TV station pulls children's cartoon off air over gay marriage scene

A state television network has chosen not to air an episode of children’s show Arthur because it included a same-sex wedding.

The episode ‘Mr Ratburn and the Special Someone’ aired nationally on May 13 in the US, showing Arthur attending the wedding of his teacher and partner.

Alabama Public Television (APT) instead showed a re-run of the PBS show.

Mike Mckenzie, director of programming at APT, defended the decision.

The decision to add Mr Ratburn's gay wedding into an episode has prompted Alabama Public Television to replace it with a re-run. Source: PBS

“Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” he said in a statement to 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.”

The station had previously pulled an episode of Arthur in 2005 when a character had two mothers.

Misty Souder, a substitute teacher from McCalla, Alabama, said she’s disappointed.

She said she will use the TV network’s decision to teach her nine-year-old daughter about the importance of standing up for minority groups.

The move from the show’s creators to introduce Mr Ratburn as gay has been widely praised across the world, where the show is broadcast in several countries.

“Mr Ratburn is the gay icon I never knew I needed,” one Twitter comment read with over 4,000 likes.

The news is the latest controversy for Alabama after the state passed a bill banning abortions across the state.

With Associated Press

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