A children’s television program has become the focus of controversy over an episode in which a same-sex couple — a rat and an aardvark — get married.
The episode of the animated show “Arthur” created an uproar after Alabama Public Television refused to air the episode. CNN reports that the episode, “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” aired in other locations May 13 as the premiere for the show’s 22nd season.
The report cites programming director Mike McKenzie confirming that APT has no plans to televise the episode.
“The storyline about Mr. Ratburn’s marriage conveys a positive message, he said,” CNN reports. “But while many parents will find it appropriate, many others will disagree, he said — ‘either because their children are too young, or because of their beliefs.'”
The report quotes a statement from McKenzie in which he says: “Our broadcast would take away the choice of parents who feel it is inappropriate.”
But CNN reports that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation called the station’s decision censorship and mean-spirited.
In a statement to CNN, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis is quoted saying: “TV worlds often reflect our actual world and today that includes LGBTQ parents and families. LGBTQ parents and their children deserve to see themselves reflected in media and if leadership of this public broadcasting station cannot serve the interests of the entire public, it’s time to find someone who can.”