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Like Alabama, Arkansas Public TV Didn't Air Gay Wedding 'Arthur' Episode

Thursday May 23, 2019

Following in the footsteps of Alabama Public Television, Arkansas Educational Television Network announced that it did not air the premiere episode of "Arthur" Season 22 because it features a gay cartoon character marrying his partner, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.

AETN's head of marketing, Julie Thomas, told the newspaper that the network decided to nix the episode after it was previewed in April.

"AETN was notified in April by PBS and producing station WGBH about the episode," she said. "We previewed the episode in question because content decisions that affect our smallest viewers and their parents are a major concern for us.

"While ideally parents watch our programming with their children and discuss it with them afterward, the reality is that many children, some of them younger than age four, watch when a parent is not in the room," Thomas told the newspaper. "In realizing that many parents may not have been aware of the topics of the episode beforehand, we made the decision not to air it on our main channel."

She added that the network instead aired a rerun.

The episode in question features Arthur's teacher Mr. Ratburn marrying his partner Patrick, a chocolatier. Arthur and his friends attend the wedding, under the impression their teacher is marrying a woman, but learn that's not the case. Though they're initially surprised, they're immediately accepting of the same-sex union.

The move from the Arkansas network comes after it was reported this week that Alabama Public Television also did not air the "Arthur" episode because of the gay wedding. It also aired a rerun.

The episode can still be viewed online, however. Click here to check it out.

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