Same-sex marriage in children's cartoon 'Arthur' praised on social media

Mr. Ratburn who has recently gotten married
Mr. Ratburn who has recently gotten married
By Sinead Barry
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PBS animated cartoon 'Arthur' launched their 22nd season with a wedding between two male characters.


Long-running children's cartoon "Arthur" launched its 22nd season earlier this week with the same-sex marriage of one of its lead characters.

The event featured in an episode of the programme made US company PBS Kids titled "Mr Ratburn and the Special Someone".

The school teacher's wedding was praised by LGBTQ+ organisations on social media.

GLAAD congratulated the animated character on Twitter and reiterated CEO Sarah Kate Ellis's words that "to be able to see yourself reflected is critical."

The public reaction on social media was also largely positive, with users welcoming Mr Ratburn into the LGBTQ+ community. 

One Twitter user called for "more LGBTQ+ characters in children's shows", while another said: "Mr Ratburn is the gay icon I never knew I needed."

Not everyone online welcomed Mr Ratburn's wedding, however.

"OK so apparently Mr. Ratburn from Arthur is gay…. That’s cool and all but why? It’s a kids show, it doesn’t exactly ‘need’ an openly gay character,” wrote Twitter user wrote. “Don’t get me wrong, I respect the LGBTQ+ community. I just don’t understand why so many TV characters are gay these days."

Arthur has been on television since 1966, making it the second longest-running animated show after "The Simpsons".

"PBS Kids programs are designed to reflect the diversity of communities across the nation," said Maria Vera Whelan, the senior director of marketing, communications and social media for children’s media and education at PBS, in a statement. 

"We believe it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children who look to PBS Kids every day."

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