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Backlash begins over "Arthur" gay wedding premiere

Outrage begins over "Arthur" gay teacher wedding premiere
Photo credit:
PBS Kids

It didn't take long before some conservatives and "family" watchdog groups began their charge against PBS and the kid's show "Arthur"  after the show revealed that one of their main characters is gay.

Furthermore, that reveal was made at a gay wedding and the groom is a popular teacher who works at the titular character's elementary school. 

First out of the gate is Sebastian Gorka a former Trump advisor and frequent FOX News guest who says the story arc on "Arthur" is “a war for our culture.”

"Civil society doesn’t exist, friendship doesn’t exist, family doesn’t exist — only permanent revolution," he asserted on his radio show. "Have you seen what I’ve posted on my twitter feed, with regards to family? Arthur is a children’s cartoon. I think it’s actually made with your money, PBS.”

He adds: “My children used to watch Arthur 15 years ago, about a rodent-like creature that lived and had fun in his cartoon world. The new season of Arthur will have one of Arthur’s teachers at school, a male teacher, married to a fellow male rodent.”

The former Trump aide then went on to say there is a culture war underway, “Did you have any doubt in your mind? This is a war for our culture, and that’s why we exist here, on America First, on the Salem Radio Network," he said. 

Then as expected One Million Moms, a fundamentalist Christian group, went on the defense in their usual authoritative manner by demanding PBS pull the episode

“Discussion of such controversial topics and lifestyle choices should be left up to parents. PBS Kids should not introduce this to young children. Just because an issue may be legal or because some are choosing a lifestyle doesn’t make it morally correct. PBS Kids should stick to entertaining and providing family-friendly programming, instead of pushing an agenda.”

Like clockwork, OMM has started a petition against PBS Kids saying the network should not be used to encourage same-sex marriage.

"It is offensive to me and my family that the network would glorify the homosexual lifestyle," reads the petition. "Until PBS Kids agrees to no longer air this episode ‘Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,’ or others with same sex couples, then conservative families including my own will have no choice but to discontinue watching PBS Kids Network, even avoiding previews, commercials, and reruns. Therefore, my family will not be able to allow PBS Kids in our home.”

But this isn't the first time PBS has brought LGBT people into its episodic framework. Back in 2005, In the spinoff show Postcards From Buster, the intrepid main character went on an adventure and encountered kids with two moms. 

At the time, PBS chief operating officer Wayne Godwin decided to pull the episode before it aired blaming the press for its concentrated coverage.

"The concern really was that there’s a point where background becomes foreground," Godwin said then. "No matter if the [lesbian] parents were intended to be background, with this specific item in this particular program they might simply be foreground because of press attention to it and parental attention to it.” 

Fourteen years later and the public seems to be supportive of PBS' decision to feature a gay wedding. Except for the usual conservative backlash, people seem to be celebrating the show and its decision to include the wedding.