Mr. Ratburn's gay wedding episode of 'Arthur' banned in Alabama

Alabama Public Television did not air the season 22 premiere of the children's cartoon "Arthur," citing concerns that the episode's depiction of a same-sex wedding would be a "violation of trust" of parents in the state.

The May 13 episode, titled "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone," features Arthur's third-grade teacher walking down the aisle at a wedding attended by his third-grade students. Mr. Ratburn, a noted fan of desserts, weds his beau Patrick, who is a chocolatier.

“Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” McKenzie said in a statement. “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.”

Prior episodes featuring Mr. Ratburn, a staple on the show since its 1996 debut, had never acknowledged the teacher's romantic preferences, marking a first for the beloved program. Although the episode made national headlines, APT determined that most parents would be unfamiliar with the new development.

"The vast majority of parents will not have heard about the content, whether they agree with it or not," McKenzie said. "Because of this, we felt it would be a violation of trust to broadcast the episode."

APT made a near-identical decision nearly two decades ago, in 2005, yanking an "Arthur" episode that included a character with two mothers.

"Our feeling is that we basically have a trust with parents about our programming," the network's then-executive director said at the time. "This program doesn't fit into that."

Alabama, no stranger to controversy, has found itself in the center of several social issue debates this year. Its new highly-restrictive reproductive rights bill has fueled a major national firestorm.

RELATED: See social media reactions to Alabama's reproductive rights bill:

Stars slam new Alabama abortion bill
See Gallery
Stars slam new Alabama abortion bill
take a look. these are the idiots making decisions for WOMEN in America. Governor Kay Ivey...SHAME ON YOU!!!!
#AlabamaAbortionBan #Alabama #AlabamaSenate #NoUterusNoOpinion #PlannedParenthood #ProChoice I love you Alabama pra…
Take a minute to read this. It’s maddening. We are regressing.
These statehouses are waging all-out war on women and their right to control their reproductive decisions. This is…
Of those 25 men who voted to ban abortion in Alabama, I’d like to know how many of them have ever been pregnant. Or…
This week, 25 old white men voted to ban abortion in Alabama even in cases of incest and rape. These men in power are imposing their wills onto the bodies of women in order to uphold the patriarchy and perpetuate the industrial prison complex by preventing women of low economic opportunity the right to choose to not reproduce. The states trying to ban abortion are the states that have the highest proportions of black women living there. This is about class and race and is a direct attack on the fundamental human rights women in the US deserve and are protected by under Roe vs. Wade. Our bodies, our choice.
1 in 4 women have had an abortion. Many people think they don't know someone who has, but #youknowme. So let's do t…
Good grief. Women should have the same autonomy over our bodies that men do. If we don’t have autonomy we don’t ha…
There is a cold place in hell for the Alabama Senate.
This is awful. Outrageous. Unconstitutional.
The retrograde Alabama criminalizes abortion even in the case of rape and incest. Voted for overwhelmingly by GOP m…
There have been nearly 30 bans on abortion introduced, passed, or signed into law in statehouses around the country…
The news about Alabama tonight is horrifying. See below for a good local place to donate to fight this. My God what…
Don’t move forward after reading this like everything is normal. Don’t shake your head at Alabama and then keep goi…
Do what the Alabama government refuses to do: help women by donating to the Donating is as…
Every single State senator who voted to restrict reproductive rights for women, was a man.
Good morning, women. Make no mistake. This is war.
You’re right to be horrified. Your life and your body are your own. Now we find ways to help those most impacted. L…
This only ends with impeachment - and people in the streets RT @AshleyBC137: 😳😨

Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL to get the hottest pop culture news delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.