Alabama Public TV Refused To Air The Gay Rat-Aardvark Wedding On ‘Arthur’

Alabama could not abide two rats getting married.

I truly wish I was using the words “rat wedding” in a happier context, but I am sad to report that the Alabama public broadcaster has opted not to run the episode of the long-running TV series Arthur in which Mr Ratburn (a rat) gets married to his lovely partner, Patrick, who is an aardvark.

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According to Alabama-based news website, Alabama Public Television instead played a re-run of a different episode when Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone was scheduled to air, mirroring a decision they made in 2005 not to air an episode with a character with two mums.

Director of programming at APT Mike Mckenzie told that they didn’t believe the programming was appropriate for children who didn’t have an adult nearby to explain what gay people are:

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.

Arthur, the delightful cartoon about animals and their families, has been running since 1996 and has so far aired an extraordinary 243 episodes, with more yet to come in this current season.

Alabama, as you probably already know, is a notoriously conservative state, and is currently in a battle over abortion laws that, if enacted, could potentially be the strictest in the US.