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Remembering Arthur’s trailblazing LGBT+ representation as the show comes to an end after 25 years

Maggie Baska July 29, 2021
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Side by side image of Arthur from PBS show Arthur and Mr Ratburn and Patrick

Fans are mourning the end of beloved children's animated TV show Arthur. In 2019, the series featured its first same-sex wedding to the joy of fans. (PBS)

Beloved children’s show Arthur is set to come to an end after its 25th season to the heartbreak of the internet.

The show follows the adventures of anthropomorphic aardvark Arthur, his family and friends on a series of adventures. The cartoon is based on the popular book series by Marc Brown, who first created the Arthur character in 1976.

The show – which first aired in 1996 – is the longest-running children’s animated TV series in US history.

Arthur is not only adored by generations of fans, but it has also won four Emmys and the George Foster Peabody Award. The groundbreaking franchise has expanded into music, video games, viral memes and toys.

Ever since the news first broke, social media has been full of Arthur fans reacting to the heartbreaking news.

Variety reported the final season of Arthur is set to launch in winter 2022, but US broadcaster PBS kids assured fans the show will “continue to be available on PBS Kids for years to come”.

Original show developer Kathy Waugh told the Finding DW podcast that Arthur is actually no longer in production. She said the team had “our wrap party” after finishing the show’s last episode “two years ago”.

“I think [PBS] made a mistake, and I think Arthur should come back, and I know I’m not along in thinking they made a mistake,” Waugh said.

Arthur is known for teaching children lessons about diversity and inclusion

The PBS Kids show surprised fans in 2019 after revealing its character Mr Ratburn is gay as he got married to another male character named Patrick. The season 22 episode touchingly portrayed the love between the couple and the beauty of same-sex marriage.

The groundbreaking moment drew a positive reception from viewers. Many grown-up Arthur fans praised the series and were touched by the heartwarming storyline.

Arthur Mr Ratburn husband 
Fans of the children’s TV show Arthur were invited to wish Mr Ratburn and his husband Patrick a happy second wedding anniversary. The responses were weird. (Facebook/@ArthurPBS)

Earlier this year, the show’s creators remembered the historic event by inviting fans to “wish Mr Ratburn and Patrick a happy two year anniversary“.

Arthur has focused on lessons learned by its main cast of characters, covering issues like cancer, racism, activism and bullying. It also taught viewers valuable lessons about accepting people’s differences, talents and individuality.

Related topics: Arthur

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