Parents are speaking out against the reboot of “Clifford the Big Red Dog” for featuring a recurring same-sex couple.
The PBS Kids series, which is also on Amazon Prime, has introduced two mommies as the parents of a character named Samantha, a friend of the main character, Emily Elizabeth.
“Discussion of such controversial topics and lifestyle choices should be left up to parents. PBS KIDS should not introduce the LGBTQ lifestyle to young children,” One Million Moms, a division of the American Family Association, stated recently. “PBS KIDS should stick to entertaining and providing family friendly programming, instead of pushing an agenda.”
The two mommies were first seen in an episode titled “The Big Red Tomato/Dogbot.”
The introduction of a lesbian couple comes as PBS’ “Sesame Street” announced that it will be featuring Billy Porter, an openly gay actor known for his “gender-fluid” fashion, in the upcoming season of the series. The actor posted photos of himself on the show’s set, wearing a tuxedo dress.
Porter defended his appearance and his fashion choice on the kids show, arguing that children who have been bullied “desperately need to see someone like me, being their authentic selves on mainstream media.”
PBS also stirred controversy last year when it featured a gay wedding — Mr. Ratburn getting married to another man.
So far, more than 19,000 people have signed a petition started by One Million Moms, disapproving of their “tax dollars being used to push the LGBTQ agenda on PBS KIDS” and “attempts to indoctrinate children.”
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is pushing for 20 percent of all television characters to be LGBT by 2025, recognizing that media can change hearts and minds. For the 2019-2020 season of primetime shows, 10.2 percent were LGBT characters, according to GLAAD.
“Veggie Tales” co-creator Phil Vischer acknowledged that LGBT presence would inevitably grow in children’s media and said Christian producers would have to address it from a biblical perspective at some point.
Fischer said he would not succumb to pressure from Hollywood to feature gay couples. “Because that’s not what I believe is best for kids,’” he said. “It’s more about what we show as normal rather than explicitly showing something and saying, ‘that’s wrong.’ I’m portraying the positive rather than the negative.”