Controversial AETN “Arthur” Decision

Arkansas Educational Television Network Executive Director Courtney Pledger at first believed airing a controversial episode of the cartoon series “Arthur” would present a lesson in tolerance. But the AETN “leadership team” would later decide to not air the episode on the public station’s main channel.

Entitled “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” the “Arthur” episode included a same-sex wedding, which have been legal in all 50 states since 2015. The episode was supposed to air May 13. AETN decided not air the episode on its primary public channel, and instead posted the episode on its website and airing it on its AETN-3 channel.

On April 12, PBS KIDS Station Relations sent a note to stations alerting them that two “Arthur” episodes could be controversial. The first was the episode about the same-sex marriage, and the other was an episode about climate change. The alert from PBS also said they could “provide messaging for your use” about the two episodes.    MORE

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