Alabama Public Television refused to air an episode of “Arthur” last week that featured a wedding between two men, choosing instead to play a re-run episode.
APT’s director of programming, Mike Mckenzie, told AL.com on Monday that he isn’t planning to air the episode.
“Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” Mckenzie said. “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 long-running children’s cartoon caused a stir last week with its episode “Mr. Ratburn’s Special Someone,” in which the titular character’s teacher marries another man. Many applauded the show for including representation of a LGBTQ relationship, while conservatives like Sebastian Gorka lamented that the cartoon wedding was “a war for our culture.”
AL.com noted that APT also declined to air a 2005 “Arthur” episode that included a character with two mothers.
“Our feeling is that we basically have a trust with parents about our programming,” APT’s then-executive director Allan Pizzato said. “This program doesn’t fit into that.”
Watch the episode on PBS’ site here.