Alabama’s public TV network has declined to broadcast an episode of children’s cartoon ‘Arthur’ which features a same-sex marriage, arguing it would shake parents’ trust in the network.
In the nixed episode, which aired elsewhere in the US last week, Arthur the aardvark and friends attend a same-sex wedding for their elementary school teacher, Mr. Ratburn.
Though the episode was celebrated in some quarters for imparting lessons of tolerance and diversity, the Alabama Public Television (APT) network saw matters differently, opting to broadcast a rerun instead.
An official at the network said APT was merely looking out for parents.
“Parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision,” APT’s director of programming Mike McKenzie told AL.com, adding “although we strongly encourage parents to watch television with their children and talk about what they have learned afterwards.”
“We also know that children who are younger than the ‘target’ audience for Arthur also watch the program,” McKenzie said.
Reactions online were somewhat polarized. Some suggested the program would “indoctrinate children.”