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Alabama Public Television refuses to air "Arthur" episode with gay wedding

Discussion in 'Politics Discussion' started by Joshua Aaron, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron Autistic Bisexual

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    Not written by me, of course.
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    Season 22 of "Arthur" kicked off with a special wedding episode that had people across the country talking. However kids in Alabama did not see the May 13 episode, in which Arthur's teacher, Mr. Ratburn marries his partner. That's because it was never aired.

    Alabama Public Television (APT) chose not to air the episode, entitled "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone," according to AL.com. Instead, "Arthur" fans in the state saw a rerun episode.

    The decision was made back in April, when the local PBS station was notified about the content of the episode, Mike Mckenzie, director of programming at APT, told AL.com. CBS News has reached out to Mckenzie and several other people at APT for comment and is awaiting response.

    Mckenzie told AL.com that APT has no plans to air the episode at a later date. "Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children's programs that entertain, educate and inspire," Mckenzie said in an email to the station.

    "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," he said. "We also know that children who are younger than the 'target' audience for Arthur also watch the program."

    In the premiere episode, Arthur and his friends worry their teacher is going to marry an uptight woman, but when they get to the wedding ceremony, they learn Mr. Ratburn is marrying a man. They're relieved and happy for their teacher.

    It is not the first time APT has pulled an episode of the children's show from air. In a 2005 episode, Arthur's friend, Buster, meets a child who has two mothers. APT did not air that episode either.

    At the time, APT's then-director, Allan Pizzato, told AL.com: "Our feeling is that we basically have a trust with parents about our programming. This program doesn't fit into that."

    If parents in Alabama want their kids to see the season 22 premiere episode, "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone" is available on PBS' website.
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    My thoughts: I'm pretty sure this violates 1st amendment rights. Also, ironically, Alabama bans an episode of a kid's TV show, but still doesn't ban incest, which you know Alabama is notorious (and made fun of) for. Sorry if any of you live there, it's just a fact.

    Apparently it's okay for somebody to marry a cousin, but not somebody from the same sex. Ironic.
     
  2. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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  3. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron Autistic Bisexual

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    Furthermore, they decided to do this because it might negatively influence children? God forbid children learn to accept other people's differences, am I right? Not only did they remove the season premier episode, which contained said same-sex wedding, they also removed an episode that contained a lesbian couple that had a child.
    ——————
    Mckenzie told AL.com that APT has no plans to air the episode at a later date. "Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children's programs that entertain, educate and inspire," Mckenzie said in an email to the station.

    "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," he said. "We also know that children who are younger than the 'target' audience for Arthur also watch the program."​
    ——————​
    Does it matter who the target audience is? No, it doesn't. Also, yes, you can let your children watch public kids' television unsupervised. It's not like there was a sex scene in the middle of a kids' TV show.

    Let's be honest. APT has refused to air it mostly due to homophobia. In Alabama, people are still glorifying the Confederacy, which, if they actually have good education over there, they'd that the Confederacy was filled with a bunch of racists, and had their butts kicked by the Union.

    I'd really only understand banning the episode if the contents were truly inappropriate, but there was no nudity at all. Just two dudes kissing. There is literally no problem with that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Well, it does seem to violate the spirit and intent of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 (47 U.S.C. 396):

    (6) it is in the public interest to encourage the development of programming that involves creative risks and that addresses the needs of unserved and underserved audiences, particularly children and minorities

    Public Broadcasting Act of 1967

    I think we can take it for granted that the DOJ is unlikely to intervene on behalf of the people, as opposed to Alabama Republicans who presently appear to control such restrictive policies.
     
  5. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    What can we say? That's where Roy Moore comes from. Gag.

    As far as I know, only a couple of states prohibit first cousins from marrying. California and most other states allow it. Who would want to marry their cousin?!
     
  6. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Franklin Roosevelt married his fifth cousin, Eleanor.

    Queen Elizabeth II married her third cousin, the Duke of Edinburgh.

    Keep the business in the family I guess. :confused:
     
  7. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yeah, a long standing tradition among royalty, especially among royal Egyptians who married their siblings. At least the European marriages were not between first cousins!

    BTW, didn't Albert Einstein marry his first cousin?
     
  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes, he did. His second wife, Elsa.

    As I recall, marriage among siblings was once part of native Hawaiian culture as well. :eek:
     
  9. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    There's that old saying about the seven degrees of separation among people. So everyone at some point in the past would have been marrying/cohabiting with a family member.