Ala. Public Television refuses to air episode of children’s cartoon program showing gay wedding

Ala. Public Television refuses to air episode of children’s cartoon program showing gay wedding
Arthur (Image: PBS)

If you have children or grandchildren between the ages of 4 and 8, you are probably familiar with the animated children’s series “Arthur” and maybe the book series on which the show is based. The main character is an anthropomorphic aardvark who, according to Wikipedia, finds himself confronted with “important issues families face such as asthma, dyslexia, cancer, diabetes, and autism spectrum disorder. It also encourages reading and relationships with family and friends by explaining that people have different personalities and interests.”

If you’re rolling your eyes, asking yourself why Public Television can’t simply provide entertainment to children without “educating” them non-stop, you’re probably really wondering why the topics the creators of these shows choose to focus on seem to reflect liberal values only.

Like same-sex marriage. As NBC News reports:

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During the animated series’ 22nd season premiere, titled “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” Arthur’s third-grade teacher, Mr. Ratburn, marries Patrick, a [male] chocolatier, at a wedding attended by his students, Arthur, Francine, Buster and Muffy.

The article goes on to note — nonjudgmentally — that “PBS sent a message to stations in mid-April alerting them ‘to possible viewer concerns about the content of the program.’ Alabama Public Television is one of the stations that declined to air the episode, showing a re-run instead.

Mike McKenzie, director of programming at the station, released a statement in which he explained:

Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire. 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.

Like NBC News, most mainstream news outlets took McKenzie decision at face value as a desire not to violate the trust of his viewers in a heavily conservative state. But not the HuffPost, which saw McKenzie’s statement as “fightin’ words.” Writes HuffPost reporter Lee Moran:

The news sparked anger on Twitter, where many people referenced Alabama’s strict new abortion law that effectively prohibits the procedure, including in cases of rape and incest.

There are lots more tweets, but you get the general drift. How dare a PBS satellite choose to respect the sensibilities of its customers!

What these angry liberals seem to have lost sight of is that one of their most beloved presidents, Bill Clinton, signed the Defense of Marriage Act, defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman, into law as recently as 1996. And another president adored by liberals, Barack Obama, didn’t “evolve” into his acceptance of gay marriage until 2012, seven short years ago.

Liberals, who love to play the intolerance card, lack the patience — the tolerance — to allow nature to run its course. Like it or not, acceptance of same-sex marriage is growing in this country. Devout Catholics and some other conservatives may never come around, but future generations likely will. In the meantime, it would be nice if the Left would back off, especially where young children are concerned.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."


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