'Arthur' Character Mr. Ratburn Comes Out as Gay and Gets Married, Social Media Reacts
By Scott Baumgartner
It's a big day in children's television.
The 22nd season of the PBS KIDS show Arthur premiered with a gay wedding on Monday. In the episode, the titular aardvark discovers that his well-read teacher is engaged, firstly shocking Arthur and his fellow students that their educators actually have personal lives.
"When they go home, they sharpen pencils, eat kale and dream up homework assignments," Buster, Arthur's rabbit pal, suggests. "They don't even sleep! They just go into low-power mode and watch documentaries."
Believing that he is marrying a blunt woman named Patty (voiced by Jane Lynch), whom he is spotted eating lunch with, the kids decide to intervene in the wedding, believing he'll be miserable. However, when they arrive at the ceremony, they discover that Patty is actually Mr. Ratburn's sister and he's actually marrying his male fiancé.
Although Mr. Ratburn's husband doesn't have any lines, he does wink at the kids as he's walking down the aisle. He appears to be an aardvark, just like the show's main character.
Needless to say, social media erupted with excitement upon discovering the same-sex wedding. One Twitter user wrote, "…big props for celebrating love and fearlessly exampling to a young audience all types of relationships."
"MR RATBURN IS GAY HELLO!!" another user proclaimed. "HE GOT MARRIED!!"
"Well, can't say that I expected that," yet another wrote of the episode. "Not only that Arthur is still going, but that Mr. Ratburn is openly gay. I have to applaud the writers for doing this. Bravo!"
For anyone who missed it, Mr. Ratburn married his male partner on the most recent episode of #Arthur. The animation has gone to poop on that show, but big props for celebrating love and fearlessly exampling to a young audience all types of relationships ✌🏻❤️
A rep for PBS released a statement to ET regarding the special episode: "PBS KIDS programs are designed to reflect the diversity of communities across the nation. We believe it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children who look to PBS KIDS every day."