US children’s cartoon praised for gay wedding

(BBC) – Animation plays a big part in both children’s and adults’ lives these days – just look at the popularity of online games, TV series such as Paddington, and recent box office hits such as Detective Pikachu.

So when long-running US cartoon series Arthur introduced its first gay wedding, it gained huge traction on social media.

Now on its 22nd series, Arthur is produced by American public-service broadcaster PBS, known for its educational children’s broadcasts, and is currently broadcast on CBBC daily at 0700.

Gamers, animators and fans have shared their congratulations, with comments including: “Love conquers hate,” “Welcome out,” and “Arthur says, ‘Gay rights.”’

But not everyone was impressed with the broadcast. One Twitter user questioned PBS Kids’s agenda. And someone on Facebook called it “grooming kids and wrong“.

It’s not the first time a gay character has been introduced to children’s cartoons.

Variety Magazine reported that children’s TV network Nickelodeon had featured a “bi-racial” gay couple in its series Loud House in 2016.

And what about the timing of the event? It comes not long after Teacher Appreciation Week in the US, when Arthur PBS tweeted a form encouraging pupils to nominate their favourite teacher, giving its own example of Mr Ratburn.