Children’s TV show to feature gay dads for the first time
Play School is the one of the longest running kids shows in the world.
Australia’s favourite television show for pre-school children is searching for two gay dads to feature in an episode aimed at educating youngsters on diversity within the family.
ABC TV’s Play School is the longest running children’s television show in Australia, and the second longest in the world, having first aired in 1966.
The programme is watched by four-out-of-five Australian children aged under six, screening up to four times a day across the network’s channels.
The show first featured a same-sex family in 2004, during an episode focussing on a girl with lesbian mothers – prompting national outcry and a debate in Australian parliament.
However, twelve years on, the show’s producers feel ready to readdress the issue.
“The idea is to reflect current Australian society by showing a range of family structures and backgrounds,” executive producer Jan Stradling told Guardian Australia.
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“In these stories, we explore the relationships and bonds of a family.
“We will look at how they care for one another and share experiences, roles and responsibilities,” she added.
“While there are still many families with mum, dad and two kids, there is also a significant and growing number of blended families, same-sex parents, single parents, grandparents as primary carers and many more.
“We don’t see this as anything controversial, just a reflection of contemporary Australian life.”
Earlier this week, it was hinted that Australian MPs could call for the planned public vote on same-sex marriage to be scrapped, over criticisms of the process.
Despite an overwhelming majority of the Australian public supporting equal marriage and a majority of MPs in favour, the current Liberal-led Coalition government refuses to put the issue to a free Parliamentary vote due to deep political divisions.
Instead, the government is planing a marriage plebiscite (public vote) after the election in 2017 – a measure which has been derided as costly, bureaucratic and pointless, given anti-gay marriage MPs insist they will not consider the vote binding either way.