In the premiere episode of Season 22, Mr Ratburn, a major character within the show’s narrative, came out in an incredibly heartfelt way.
In an episode subtly and sweetly entitled ‘Mr Ratburn Marries Someone Special’, Arthur and his friends try to stop the wedding after seeing a woman, they believe to be Mr Ratburn’s fiancee, telling him to ‘toughen up’ and treating him harshly. After various attempts to stop the marriage, it is revealed that the woman is Mr Ratburn’s sister and that Mr Ratburn’s fiancee is in fact male.
One of the sweetest things about the episode is how swept over, Mr Ratburn’s fiancee, now husband, being a man is. As soon as Arthur and his friends realise, they are happy for their teacher and spend the rest of the episode enjoying the wedding and cringing at their teacher dancing.
At a time when UK schools, parents and the government are hotly and tensely debating the necessity of LGBTQ+ inclusive sex and relationship education, a major character in a well respected and beloved children’s TV show is so important and powerful.
Many took to twitter to voice their joy at the episode and just how progressive it was. Even Ariana Grande shared an Instagram post of the two lovebirds to her story.
Many expressed their shock that Arthur is still running. The show has been airing now since 1996 with over 246 episodes.
The inclusion of the actress behind everyone’s favourite Cheer-leading coach, Jane Lynch (Glee, Wreck-it-Ralph), also excited many twitter users.
Finally, many twitter users expressed how important it was to see such an inclusive and progressive storyline in a Children’s TV show.