The State of Alabama v. Arthur

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Any child born in the 2000s may have a special place in their hearts for the children’s show Arthur. This week, students who grew up watching the show had strong reactions to Alabama refusing to air an episode featuring same-sex marriage.

Alabama Public Television has recently decided that they will not air the premiere of the show’s 22nd season, “Mr Ratburn and the Special Someone.” The episode features the same sex wedding of Arthur’s teacher Mr. Ratburn and Patrick. Mike McKenzie, programming director of Alabama Public Television, referenced the young audience of their channel and said that some parents may find it inappropriate.

Junior Togay Atmaca said, “I think by not airing [the episode], Alabama is giving out the idea that this is wrong. It perpetuates the stigma against gay marriage.”

Junior Cathy Chen said, “It’s up to parents if their kids see such things, but it wasn’t right to even consider not allowing viewers to see this because there’s a gay marriage.”

Sophomore Madison Bitna said, “You shouldn’t restrict content just because a lot of people are against it because of religious feelings.”

Social Studies teacher Jamie Baranoff said, “It’s ridiculous that a state would do such a thing to prohibit the airing of the show. No matter what the state’s law are, gay marriage is legal and not at all discouraged in the country as a whole.”

Social Studies teacher Adam Stonehill called the choice “state-sponsored bigotry.”

Alabama Public Television also pulled an episode in 2005 that featured Buster, Arthur’s bunny friend, having two mothers.

This news was released after Alabama also made national headlines for passing a law that bans abortion. The Classic will feature community responses to those events in its upcoming print edition.