The season premiere of children’s cartoon Arthur featured a wedding between a male rat and a male aardvark.
The animated show, which airs on PBS in the United States, as well as other taxpayer-funded broadcast networks worldwide, kicked off its 22nd season with a gay interspecies union between Mr. Ratburn, a regular character, and his partner, Patrick.
“Arthur, along with his friends Muffy, Francine and Buster, like most elementary school students, are intrigued that their teacher has a life outside of school,” Variety explains in a description of the episode. “The students know their rodent teacher enjoys puppetry, playing in a rock band and bird watching — but getting married?”
“That calls for an investigation. The team snoops around in search of who they think is the bride to be. In a twist, the children learn the bride is actually another groom — and he’s a chocolatier.”
— Q. Allan Brocka (@allanbrocka) May 13, 2019
GLAAD voiced their approval of the episode’s theme, tweeting, “Congratulations Mr. Ratburn!”
Congratulations Mr. Ratburn! 🌈🐀https://t.co/8ejkwU1sfU
— GLAAD (@glaad) May 14, 2019
One Twitter user pointed out that another character, Mr. Ratburn’s sister, is portrayed as also being potentially gay.
animation twitter is losing it over the fact that arthur made mr ratburn gay but no one is talking about his clearly queer sister pic.twitter.com/WcJBdP70l7
— Goth Ms. Frizzle (@spookperson) May 13, 2019
An Arthur spinoff show called ‘Postcards From Buster’ reportedly featured a lesbian couple in a 2005 episode which was pulled when then-Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings slammed the use of public funds to promote LGBT propaganda.
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