BAISEURS DE COUSIN EN ARRIÉRE PARISH, ALABAMA — On May 13th, 2019, PBS aired the season premiere of “Arthur,” a long-running children’s animated program based on the books by author Marc Brown. The episode’s plot involved Arthur, the titular aardvark protagonist attending the same-sex wedding of his third grade teacher Mr. Ratburn to a chocolatier in town. The wedding was also attended by some of Arthur’s friends.
However, children in the Yellowhammer State did not get to see the 22nd season premier of “Arthur.” The episode was pulled out of concern for audience reaction to the same-sex wedding being so prominent in the story line.
Mike McKenzie, director of programming at APT, told NBC News on Monday that PBS sent a message to stations in mid-April alerting them “to possible viewer concerns about the content of the program.” After he and others at APT viewed the episode, they decided not to broadcast it and showed a rerun instead. (NBC)
Republicans in the state, however, were not content for PBS to simply pull the offending episode. A strongly worded letter was sent to the producers of the show and to PBS headquarters demanding that a replacement episode be created on a rush, to be broadcast solely within the boundaries of Alabama. The episode would feature Arthur marrying his sister D.W.
“Public television should reflect the morals, value, and character of the public it’s broadcast to,” the state’s GOP leadership wrote to PBS. “When you put your radical leftist agenda of enjoying a lovely union between two consenting adults and not judging them based on outdated social moores, you robbed the children of Alabama of an episode of ‘Arthur,’ and we hereby demand that you create and broadcast a new one where Arthur and D.W. get hitched.”
Sources close to the situation say that the Alabama Republicans are willing to negotiate a little bit on the content.
“If’n they can’t get PBS to do an episode with sister-marryin’, maybe they could do cousins instead. It’s already the natural progression of romantic relationships in this state,” our source told us, “so the kids won’t notice anythin’ different at all.”
So far, PBS and the show’s producers have not responded to the Alabama GOP’s request.
“We will seek redress on this issue all the way up to and including the Supreme Court of the United States of America, if we must,” State Rep. Tom Thompaulsen told reporters this morning. “The First Amendment may protect their right to freedom of expression, but who’s going to protect me from feelings of self-doubt when I see two male characters in a loving relationship I sorta wish I was having myself? Huh, fam? WHO WILL PROTECT ME FROM FEELINGS AND URGES BROUGHT ON BY WATCHING ANTHROPOMORPHIZED GAY ANIMALS GETTING MARRIED, FAM?!”
This is a developing story.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.