Alabama Public Television will not air the season 22 premiere of the PBS kids' show Arthur because it features a gay wedding. "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone," in which Arthur's third-grade teacher marries a chocolatier, earned praise for "the inclusion of an LGBT character as well as the kids' 'no big deal' reaction within the episode" when it aired May 13, per CBC News. APT aired a rerun instead. As director of programming Mike McKenzie told NBC News on Monday, the decision was made after PBS advised stations of "possible viewer concerns about the content" in mid-April. Because "the vast majority of parents will not have heard about the content, whether they agree with it or not … we felt it would be a violation of trust to broadcast the episode," McKenzie said.
APT also chose not to air a 2005 episode of the Arthur spinoff Postcards From Buster because it featured families with two mothers, reports AL.com. PBS actually pulled the episode after then-Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said parents wouldn't want to "expose" their children to same-sex couples, per the Washington Post, though some aired it anyway. This time around, PBS feels differently. "We believe it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children who look to PBS KIDS every day," the public broadcaster said. "Kids need to see what's happening in the world," echoes Arthur creator Marc Brown, per the CBC. "I would hate to live in a world that was sanitized and censored." Of the praise for the show, he adds, "It just made me feel great." (Read more TV shows stories.)