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Alabama Public Television Refuses to Air Arthur Episode Featuring Same-Sex Marriage

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  • The season premiere of the animated series “Arthur” earlier this month featured a same-sex wedding between Arthur’s teacher Mr. Ratburn and his partner, a chocolatier named Patrick.
  • The episode was met with much praise from LGBTQ rights supporters, but Alabama Public Television decided not to air the episode.
  • APT said parents trust that their children can watch without supervision and since most parents might not have heard about the content, the network decided that airing it would be “a violation of trust.”

“Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone”

Alabama Public Television decided not to air PBS’ recent episode of the animated series “Arthur,” which featured a same-sex marriage.

The episode entitled “Mr.Ratburn and the Special Someone,” is the first of the show’s 22nd season. In it, Arthur’s third-grade teacher Mr.Ratburn, marries his partner, a chocolatier named Patrick at a wedding attended by some of his students.

The show aired across the nation on May 13 and was met with widespread praise from LGBTQ rights supporters. However, Alabama Public Television (APT) decided against airing the episode.

Mike McKenzie, director of programming at APT, told NBC News that PBS sent a message to stations in mid-April alerting them “to possible viewer concerns about the content of the program.”

McKenzie and others at APT viewed the episode and decided not to broadcast it. Instead APT chose to air a re-run. “Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” McKenzie said in an email to AL.com.

“More importantly — although we strongly encourage parents to watch television with their children and talk about what they have learned afterwards — parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision. We also know that children who are younger than the ‘target’ audience for ‘Arthur’ also watch the program.”

McKenzie went on to say that if they aired the program, APT would take away the choice of parents who felt it was inappropriate content for their children to watch.

“The vast majority of parents will not have heard about the content, whether they agree with it or not,” he said. “Because of this, we felt it would be a violation of trust to broadcast the episode.”

In a phone call with TheWrap, McKenzie explained a bit further saying, “Our concern is with the subject matter, the marriage of Mr. Ratburn and the other gentleman.”

“We have a fairly large number of people who have a problem with teaching that to their children.”

As of now, the network has no plans to air the episode at a later time. According to McKenzie, parents who want to share the episode with their children can access the episode online at pbs.org.

Reactions

The news sparked outrage on social media. In several tweets criticizing the decision, many users referenced Alabama’s new abortion law that prohibits the procedure at any stage of pregnancy, making no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. Others called the move an act of censorship

Similar Moves

This is not the first time APT has refused to air an “Arthur” episode featuring a same-sex couple. According to AL.com, in 2005 the network pulled an episode in which the character Buster visited a girl who had two mothers.

At the time, then-executive director Allan Pizzato issued a similar statement saying,“’Our feeling is that we basically have a trust with parents about our programming. This program doesn’t fit into that.”

See what others are saying: (AL.com) ((TheWrap) NBC News)


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Kylie Jenner Faces Backlash Over “Handmaid’s Tale” Themed Party

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  • Kylie Jenner threw a Handmaid’s Tale themed party for her friend Stassie Karanikolaou’s birthday.
  • The party theme outraged many online who called it “disheartening” and “tone deaf.”
  • Meanwhile, some fans spoke out in Jenner’s defense, pointing out that it’s not uncommon for fans to throw parties or dress in costumes based on their favorite shows.

The Party

Twitter users are slamming Kylie Jenner for the Handmaid’s Tale themed bash she threw for her friend Anastasia “Stassie” Karanikolaou’s birthday.

On Saturday, Jenner’s Hidden Hills home was transformed to resemble Gilead, the fictional setting in the popular television series. She shared details of the party on her Instagram, which showed the house decorated with Gilead flags while the waiting staff dressed as Marthas – domestic servants to wealthy families in the series.

Guests wore matching Handmaids costumes and greeted each other with the phrase “praise be.” The party guests were also offered cocktails including  “praise be vodka” and “under his eye tequila.”

“You know the Handmaid’s Tale is my favorite show ever..so for Stass’ birthday, welcome to Gilead,” Jenner says on her Instagram story.

Those who were invited included, Jenner’s assistant Victoria Villarroel, her makeup artist Ariel Tejada, and Scott Disick’s girlfriend Sofia Richie.

Many criticized Jenner and her friends for the theme. The series, which is based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, showcases a dystopian society where women are enslaved, routinely raped and abused, forced into childbirth, and more.

The red robes and white bonnets were designed to label women and prevent them from looking at their surroundings. They have been used in several protests over recent years by women standing up for issues like reproductive rights and fighting against sexual assault.

Backlash

The party was quickly met with backlash online, with many shocked by the theme.

Defense

Still, many fans defended Jenner. Some even pointed out that it is not uncommon to throw parties based on popular shows and movies.

See what others are saying: (Cosmopolitan) (People) (Teen Vogue)



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How Markiplier, Bear Grylls, Kimmy Schmidt and The Fine Bros. are Changing the Future of Television

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Ever since Black Mirror: Bandersnatch was released on Netflix in December, more and more digital entertainment companies have been announcing new interactive projects that allow the audience to control the direction of the plot. But is this just a gimmick or is interactivity a trend that could change the future of television as we know it?

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Baker Calls Out Miley Cyrus for Stealing Cake Design

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  • The Sweet Feminist called out Miley Cyrus for stealing her “Abortion is Healthcare” cake design and using it to promote her collaboration with Planned Parenthood.
  • After being called out, Cyrus responded by tagging the baker in the promotional post and said she did not realize who created the original design.
  • However, this move was not enough for the baker, Becca Rea-Holloway, who called the decision “willfully neglectful.”
  • Her supporters now argue that Cyrus should compensate the artist for her work

The Cake Backlash

A baker whose cake design went viral on Instagram is calling Miley Cyrus “willfully neglectful” after seeing the singer use the design in a promotional photo without giving the baker any credit.

On Tuesday, Cyrus took to Instagram to promote a new collaboration with Planned Parenthood, her own nonprofit Happy Hippie Foundation, and the clothing brand, Marc Jacobs. In the photo, which has over four million likes, the singer is leaning in and licking a cake that reads “Abortion is Healthcare.”

Source: Miley Cyrus via Instagram

People began commenting on Cryus’s photo, pointing out that the cake was nearly identical to a cake from the account The Sweet Feminist.

The baker behind the account, Becca Rea-Holloway, had posted a photo of her cake back in June 2018 and reposted it several times since. After seeing Cyrus’ Instagram, Rea-Holloway’s posted her own photo comparing the two cakes, calling the signer out for “direct theft.”

“It’s literally my exact handwriting, message, and concept,” she wrote in the caption. “Cake art is for everyone, but this is inexcusable.”

Cyrus reached out to Rea-Holloway and explained that she saw the photo of her cake and “didn’t realize” it was hers. She added that she was using the design as inspiration and promised to give her credit.

Cyrus’ Response to TheSweetFeminist via Instagram

Rea-Holloway is now tagged in the singer’s post, but that move wasn’t enough for the baker. She wrote back to Cyrus and said that while she appreciated the quick response, her work was still used without her consent.

“This was not an oversight,” Rea-Holloway wrote. “It was blatantly and willfully neglectful and deceitful. I would have been more than happy to work with you on a collaboration for this project, but instead my work was just copied without compensation. Someone got paid to make, style, and photograph this cake, and it wasn’t me. It’s also totally unacceptable that you deleted my comment on the post.”

Rea-Holloway added that in her attempt to receive the credit she believes she deserves, fans of Cyrus are now harassing her.

TheSweetFeneminist’s Response via Instagram

In another comment she goes on to tell Cyrus, “this is not ‘inspiration, its theft.”

At the same time, many people are coming to Rea-Holloway’s defense and supporting her standing up to Cyrus. On the baker’s post comparing the two photos, people are calling for Cyrus to compensate her.

Cyrus has not made any further comment since her reply to Rea-Holloway on Tuesday.

Other Incidents like this

Rea-Holloway is not the first artist to go head to head with a household name over stolen work. In May, artist Marius Sperlich called out Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, and G Eazy’s music video for “Wobble Up” which featured two moments that mirrored his art.

In February of 2019, Vladimir Kush, a Russian painter accused Ariana Grande of copying two of his paintings during her “God is a Woman” music video.

Kylie Jenner among other celebrities that have been repeatedly called out for stealing artists work and not giving them credit. Vlada Haggerty, a Los Angeles based makeup artist has called Jenner out twice for stealing her work, even filing a lawsuit in 2018.

See what others are saying: (Newsweek) (Business Insider) (People)

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