NBC Blasts ‘Intolerant’ Alabama for Not Airing Cartoon Gay Wedding

During the Third Hour Today show on Tuesday, the network broadcast seized on left-wing outrage over Alabama Public Television deciding not to air an episode of the PBS children’s cartoon Arthur that included a gay wedding. Hosts accused the state of “homophobia and intolerance” for objecting to the controversial program.

“Last week we mentioned the animated series Arthur...featuring a same-sex wedding between Mr. Ratburn, Arthur’s teacher, and his now-husband Patrick,” co-host Al Roker reminded viewers. He then lamented that “not everybody was too thrilled about that” before explaining: “Alabama Public Television chose not to air that episode.”

 

 

Roker read a statement regarding the decision:

Mike McKenzie, the director of programming at Alabama Public TV told nbcnews.com they reviewed the episode and decided not to broadcast it, instead showing a rerun, saying, “The vast majority of parents will have not heard about the content, whether they agree with it or not, and because of this we thought it would be a violation of trust to broadcast the episode.” And they reportedly have no plans to air it.

Fellow co-host Craig Melvin ranted: “I don’t buy that. I think it sounds like a great statement, but I think that they are hiding behind, you know, homophobia and intolerance.” Joining the panel discussion, reporter Jacob Soboroff chimed in: “Because they don’t know about it, they can’t see it because they haven’t heard that the episode is gonna be on? They can’t look at life in 2019 America, like everybody else does, and celebrate?”

To his credit, Roker gently pushed back, seeing things from the point of view of Alabama parents: “Well, they may – the argument may be, ‘We’d like to have a discussion with our kids about it before it before they see the episode.’ So I understand that part of it.”

Soboroff sneered: “I bet you a nickel they don’t have a conversation with their kids about an episode about  traditional marriage, let’s just put it that way.”

Rather than acknowledge the controversy of using a kids cartoon show to push a liberal social agenda, journalists immediately attack anyone who objects and demand that they “celebrate” the effort.

Here is a transcript of the May 21 discussion:

9:17 AM ET

AL ROKER: Speaking of parenting, last week we mentioned the animated series Arthur – Arthur featuring a same-sex wedding between Mr. Ratburn, Arthur’s teacher and his now-husband Patrick. Well, turns out not everybody was too thrilled about that. Alabama Public Television chose not to air that episode. Mike McKenzie, the director of programming at Alabama Public TV told nbcnews.com they reviewed the episode and decided not to broadcast it, instead showing a rerun, saying, “The vast majority of parents will have not heard about the content, whether they agree with it or not, and because of this we thought it would be a violation of trust to broadcast the episode.” And they reportedly have no plans to air it.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: “Arthur” Ban; Alabama Public Television Pulls Same-Sex Wedding Episode]

SHEINELLE JONES: So their concern was that, you know, if you didn’t get the word out about this, that a parent would turn it on and say, “What’s going on?”

ROKER: They didn’t have a chance to make the decision to either have their child watch it or not.

CRAIG MELVIN: I don’t buy that.

JACOB SOBOROFF: Me either.

MELVIN: I don’t buy it. I mean, I think it sounds like a great statement, but I think that they are hiding behind, you know, homophobia and intolerance.

SOBOROFF: Because they don’t know about it, they can’t see it because they haven’t heard that the episode is gonna be on? They can’t look at life in 2019 America, like everybody else does, and celebrate?

ROKER: Well, they may – the argument may be, “We’d like to have a discussion with our kids about it before it before they see the episode.”

MELVIN: Yeah, I could see that.

ROKER: So I understand that part of it.

DYLAN DREYER: Isn’t Arthur known for tackling everyday topics?

ROKER: Oh, they’ve tackled homelessness, they’ve tackled poverty. They have tackled a whole slew of topics. So –  

SOBOROFF: I bet you a nickel they don’t have a conversation with their kids about an episode about  traditional marriage, let’s just put it that way.

JONES: Yeah, fair enough.

MELVIN: If that is going to be the position of the Alabama Public Television station, then perhaps they should say, “Okay, you know what, we are not going to air it now, we are going to air it next Friday.” And then they run it –

ROKER: Sure, they give people a chance to see it.

DREYER: Right, give them a chance to talk about it.  

JONES: We’ll see what happens.

(...)

NB Daily Homosexuality Same-sex marriage PBS Video Al Roker Craig Melvin Jacob Soboroff

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