As surprising as it is to find that Arthur, the beloved kid’s show, is in its 22nd season, it’s just as surprising to find out which way Mr. Ratburn swings.
The PBS show has been on air since 1996, and although they’ve touched on LGBTQ topics once, they’ve pretty much been tiptoeing around the subject since. But on Monday, things changed for what may be better. In its season premiere, Mr. Ratburn, Arthur and his pals’ longtime teacher, marries the apple of his eye… a man!
That’s right, you did not read that wrong. Mr. Ratburn has been officially introduced as a proud member of the LGBTQ community, and the people of Elwood City couldn’t be happier. The decision to make his character openly gay is a result of PBS wanting to reflect the “diverse communities” that children find themselves in today.
In a statement, PBS states, “PBS KIDS programs are designed to reflect the diversity of communities across the nation. We believe it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children who look to PBS KIDS every day.”
Since it’s airing, the episode called “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” has received a ton of mixed reviews. As with anything related to children and what they’re allowed to be exposed to, there are people who argue it’s not an appropriate subject for young audiences.
— MelaninMediaNetwork (@melanin_network) May 14, 2019
On the other hand, there are those celebrating the strides that PBS KIDS is making.
PSA: Mr. Ratburn from "Arthur" is gay. Do you know how amazing it is that someone who's been on the show from the start, someone who's a main character, is openly gay and getting married on a kids show? PBS Kids really is that bitch.
Plus, all his students are at his wedding! :') pic.twitter.com/aaxGwTE9is
— osmosis jones (@keeothrama) May 13, 2019
Either way, the cakes sliced though, there’s no turning back now because Mr. Ratburn has already put the ring on it!
Thoughts? Is PBS right or wrong to teach children about LGBTQ topics? Leave a comment below.
Lastly, be sure to visit Hypefresh for more LGBTQ news!