Alabama Public Television reportedly refused to broadcast the well-received Season 22 premiere of the PBS Kids show on May 13. Instead of the new episode about same-sex marriage, the network aired a repeat of an old episode.
The Alabama network has no plans to air the new episode ― titled “Mr. Ratburn & the Special Someone” ― in the future, reports NBC News.
It is still available to watch online, however. Check it out here.
Mike Mckenzie, director of programming at Alabama Public Television, told Al.com that “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.
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. It has drawn widespread fury from around the world.
“How will I explain to my 12-year-old child who is being forced to give birth to her rapist’s baby that two cartoon characters are getting married?” https://t.co/VnJAIQZLZV
— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) May 21, 2019
First, they make women 2nd class citizens, and then they censor free speech. Despicable. I’m at a loss for words. https://t.co/x50NU8Hf9f
— Molly Jackson (@Molly_C_Jackson) May 21, 2019
The director of programming at @APTV is a bigot. He refused to show Arthur (cartoon) attending a gay wedding. We’ll watch it on https://t.co/OuxxWztpIl with our 6yo and teaching him about unconditional love in the face of hate and love is love is love.https://t.co/CGvis3T9LG
— Sarah Parcak (@indyfromspace) May 20, 2019
Alabama: Carrying a child of rape to term is the mother’s moral obligation.
Also Alabama: Don’t watch the gay cartoon rat get married. We’re not demons. https://t.co/vrjiqn0Obd
— Justin Kirkland (@justinkirkland4) May 20, 2019