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Arkansas Public TV Refuses To Air ‘Arthur’ Episode With Same-Sex Marriage

Arkansas' state network of PBS member stations did not air the season premiere of "Arthur" over concerns that it showed a same-sex marriage.

Arkansas Educational Television Network spokeswoman Julie Thomas said in a statement that the network made the decision after previewing the episode in April. The episode had been scheduled to air May 13.

"While ideally parents watch our programming with their children and discuss it with them afterwards, the reality is that many children, some of them younger than age four, watch when a parent is not in the room," the statement says. "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."

In the episode, titled “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone," Arthur's aardvark teacher Mr. Ratburn marries his partner Patrick. Arthur and his friends attend the wedding.

Arkansas is at least the second state that refused to air the episode on its public television network. Alabama Public Television aired a rerun of the show, saying that "parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision."

PBS has said its programming is "designed to reflect the diversity of communities across the nation" and that "it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children."

"Arthur" is in its 22nd season.

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