News (USA)

Alabama Public TV bans ‘Arthur’ episode because kids are too young to know that gay people exist

Mr. Ratburn & his husband
Photo: PBS Kids

Alabama’s public television network decided not to run an episode of Arthur because it featured a gay wedding.

The season 22 premier of the kids’ animated series Arthur that aired this week showed the characters’ third-grade teacher, Mr. Ratburn, getting married to another man.

The show normally airs on PBS-affiliate Alabama Public Television (APT), but this week they decided to show an old rerun. APT said that the audience was too young to know that gay people exist.

Related: The religious right has flipped its lid over a cartoon rat

“Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” APT Director of Programming Mike McKenzie told

“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.”

“The vast majority of parents will not have heard about the content, whether they agree with it or not,” he said.

In 2005, an episode of an Arthur spinoff, Postcards from Buster, was pulled because it featured a girl with two moms. APT didn’t run that episode either, citing the same “trust with parents.”

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