‘Arthur’ PBS kids series features gay ‘Mr. Ratburn’ wedding: ‘It’s a brand new world!’
The PBS cartoon “Arthur” kicked off its 22nd season with a marriage between third-grade teacher “Mr. Ratburn” and an aardvark named Patrick.
“Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone” debuted Monday with a story in which the characters worried Mr. Ratburn would get married to a questionable woman (voiced by actress/LGBT activist Jane Lynch).
The plot twist came when it turned out that Ms. Lynch’s character was Patrick the aardvark’s sister.
“It’s a brand new world!” one of the teacher’s students exclaimed during the wedding ceremony, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.
“While his love for cake is no secret to anyone, his same-sex love has never been mentioned before,” the newspaper added.
Reaction on social media to the episode prompted a variety of responses.
“You better come through with all representations,” responded one viewer to the official “Arthur Read” Twitter account.
“I never thought I’d see the day!” added another.
“My family and I watched Arthur every time we had the opportunity,” wrote a third person. “We were so excited for the week of new episodes. I don’t expect you to agree with my values, but I also don’t have to agree with yours. God bless you all your viewers. I pray you all find true happiness and peace.”
Rachel Giese, director of editorial for the Canadian LGBTQ-interest website DailyXtra, designated the episode a challenge to Disney and Marvel Studios.
“It turns out Arthur is more courageous and explicit than Avengers: Endgame when it comes to LGBTQ2 lives and storylines,” Ms. Giese tweeted. “Congrats Mr. Ratburn! Your move, Marvel.”
It turns out Arthur is more courageous and explicit than Avengers: Endgame when it comes to LGBTQ2 lives and storylines. Congrats Mr. Ratburn! Your move, Marvel.... https://t.co/eq99SerHaC Rachel Giese (@rachelagiese) May 13, 2019