"And I said hey! Hey! Mind your own business!"
I grew up watching "Arthur." I had all of the books, the stuffed animals, and even got to meet him in person at a book store at the mall. I learned many different things from "Arthur." The show talks about friendship, family, and "learning to work and play and getting along with each other." (Admit it, you sang that!)
Which is why I don't understand why people are making a big deal about the character of Mr. Ratburn coming out as gay. Personally, I wasn't surprised. The only thing I was actually surprised about was the fact that "Arthur" was still on the air after all these years, and now it might just be as long as "The Simpsons!"
Of course, when that episode aired there were people that were more than happy about how progressive children's shows are becoming and how we are really teaching our kids acceptance and that love is love no matter who it is.
It was sad but at the same time not surprising when a station in Alabama refused to air the episode, their reasoning being that they were worried about kids watching the episode without their parent's supervision. I mean, come on. It's just a wedding, and there isn't anything inappropriate about that.
Children are going to find out what gay marriage is whether their parents want them to or not. Why not teach them at a young age that this is okay? We simply can't be sheltering children from everything. Otherwise, they will never truly be able to learn about what the world is like.
I watched "Powerpuff Girls" growing up and there was this evil character called "Him." I watched it, and never once thought twice about becoming like Him!
Are people really that worried that having a gay character on a children's show is going to turn a child gay? I watched "Harry Potter" and have yet to turn to witchcraft! It's not like this is the first time parents have made a big deal about a character being gay.
In the live action version of "Beauty and The Beast," Disney made the character of Lefou gay (which, let's face it, we all knew in the animated version) and there was such an outrage from a certain group of people that one mom even canceled a Disney trip for her family. The scene wasn't really that big of a deal, either. You would miss it in a blink, and people still reacted that way.
Episodes like this are not just important for kids to watch but also for parents as well. They need to realize that times are changing and this isn't the 1950s anymore. What is wrong with teaching your kids about acceptance, and showing them that love is love no matter who it is? Parents shouldn't be sheltering their children from this, otherwise, they are going to be growing up not knowing things and maybe even not being accepting of one another. That's the complete opposite of what "Arthur" teaches kids.
So watch that episode, and have a talk with your children showing them that this is okay. Stop hiding the truth from them. After all, they are the future and we want to have an accepting one.