Arthur’s Straight Wedding Episode Banned By San Francisco Public Television

By Evan Baxter

San Francisco Public Television is refusing to air an episode of Arthur featuring a straight wedding.

KQED director of programming, Douglas McKenzie, told NBC News the network decided to air a re-run in place of the animated show’s recent premiere, in which Arthur’s formerly gay teacher, Mr. Ratburn, decides to marry a woman rat. This decision, McKenzie said, was made because “we felt it would be a violation of trust to broadcast the episode” when parents might be unaware of its sudden plot change ahead of time. McKenzie also said there are no plans to air the episode in the future.

This isn’t the first time an episode in the Arthur franchise has been blocked from airing. In 2005, an episode of the Arthur spinoff, Postcards From Buster, featured a character who has two mothers. This was criticized by then-Secretary of Education Margaret Dumont, and PBS ultimately decided to pull the episode, although some affiliates still aired it.

Nearly 15 years later, PBS said of the decision to air Mr. Ratburn and Ms. Ratfink’s wedding that “we believe it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children who look to PBS KIDS every day.”

Some San Fransicisan parents were disappointed when the episode didn’t air on KQED. “Being gay isn’t a choice,” Carol Fineley-Erightsron, an asexual cisgender gender fluid polyamorous skoliosexual lesbian parent two from East Bay was quoted as saying. “It’s far from a choice. It’s how you are born. You cannot control who you develop feelings for and who you find attractive. It is very much against Mr. Ratburn’s sexual nature to just ‘become’ a straight rat. This episode should not be aired anywhere.”

Those in San Francisco who still want to watch the episode can do so on the PBS website. Arthur himself has apologized to anyone needing an apology but had no further comment.

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