Ala. church hosting wedding-themed party with screening of controversial ‘Arthur’ episode

The 22nd season of the PBS show 'Arthur' kicks off with a memorable episode.
The 22nd season of the PBS show 'Arthur' kicks off with a memorable episode.(Source: PBS Kids (custom credit) | Source: PBS Kids)
Updated: Jun. 3, 2019 at 6:15 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A Birmingham Methodist church will been showing a controversial episode of “Arthur” during a wedding-themed party this month.

First United Methodist Church-Birmingham is hosting “Arthur & Friends Screening + Wedding Party - All Ages & Free” on June 15. It will include a wedding cake, sparkling apple juice and surprises, according to the Facebook event page. The controversial “Arthur” episode “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone” will also be shown. It is scheduled for 10 a.m.

“Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone” made national headlines last month after Alabama Public Television did not air the episode and said there were no plans to do so in the future. The episode features the same-sex wedding of the show’s main character’s teacher.

Mike McKenzie, director of programming and public information of APT, said APT Executive Director Roy Clem decided to not air the episode after viewing it.

“The storyline about Mr. Ratburn’s marriage conveys a positive message that many parents feel is entirely appropriate,” McKenzie said. “Many other parents disagree, either because their children are too young, or because of their beliefs. The vast majority of parents will not have heard about the content, whether they agree with it or not, and our greatest concern was taking away these parents’ choice.”

The screening at First United Methodist Church is being co-hosted by Sidewalk Film Festival and South LGBTQ Film Festival.

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