State Watch

Alabama Public Television won’t air ‘Arthur’ episode with gay wedding


Alabama Public Television refused to air an episode PBS’s “Arthur” that included a gay wedding.

In the show’s 22nd season premiere, Arthur’s third grade teacher, Mr. Ratburn, comes out as gay and gets married to a local chocolatier.

Mike Mckenzie, director of programming at APT, said the channel was notified by WGBH and PBS in mid-April about the episode entitled “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone” and decided to show a re-run instead of the episode, according to

{mosads}Mckenzie told that APT has no plans to air the episode at a later date.

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

“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 APT has pulled an episode of “Arthur” for having characters in a same-sex relationship.

In 2005, they pulled an episode of where Buster, a bunny, visited a girl 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,” APT’s then-executive director Allan Pizzato told in 2005.

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