Considering Alabama just passed the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States, we can’t say we’re surprised at news that the state chose not to air an episode of Arthur whereby a same sex marriage takes place.
The episode, which sees rat cartoon character Mr Rathburn marry his longtime partner (an aardvark), was deemed concerning content for young children by Alabama’s television authorities, with the state taking the episode off air and replacing it with an older episode.
“Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” director of programming at Alabama Public Television, Mike McKenzie told NBC News. “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.”
While we don’t exactly deem an eight-year-old fictional aardvark watching his mentor and teacher get married to the love of his life as problematic, it seems Mike McKenzie does.
Same sex marriage is currently legal in Alabama, despite government officials risking their jobs to try and revert a nationwide ruling — yes this actually happened. And while Alabama might be trailing behind the world when it comes to equality, we’re hoping Arthur fans in the state get a chance to celebrate Mr Rathburn’s love — because, as anyone with a conscious knows, love is love.