Mr. Ratburn, the elementary school teacher in the long-running PBS children’s cartoon “Arthur” came out as homosexual in the 22nd season premiere on Monday, and was depicted as “marrying” an aardvark named Patrick.
The episode, “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” also featured the voice of lesbian actor Jane Lynch, who plays Mr. Ratburn’s sister, Patty.
The broadcast opens with Ratburn, Arthur’s teacher, receiving a phone call on his cell phone. His ring tone plays out Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March.”
After students hear Ratburn discussing floral arrangements during the brief call, they ask if flowers will be on their quiz.
“No, they’re for a wedding,” he replies.
“A wedding? Who’s getting married?” Muffy Crosswire exclaims.
“Me,” Ratburn discloses, as the students loudly gasp.
As Arthur and his friends later discuss the shocking development at a restaurant, suddenly Ratburn walks in with Patty, who the students assume is his fiance. Being worried about Patty’s demanding and harsh nature, the students seek out ways to thwart the supposed relationship and stop the wedding.
Upon attending the event with intentions to object, Arthur and his friends discover that Patty is actually Ratburn’s sister, and question among themselves who their teacher might be marrying. Within moments, Ratburn walks down the aisle with Patrick, and the students smile. Ratburn winks at the camera.
Public reaction to the season premiere episode has been mixed, with some cheering the depiction of
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