Flower girls and boys tossed rose petals down the aisle of First United Methodist Church in downtown Birmingham Saturday as a bridal march played in the background, in preparation for a viewing of “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone.”
Last month, Alabama Public Television chose not to air an episode of “Arthur” that contained same-sex rat nuptials. Mike McKenzie, director of programming at APT, cited parents’ trust in APT as the reason behind the decision.
Rachel Morgan, creative director of Sidewalk Film Festival, said she immediately texted the festival’s executive director after hearing about what she calls the television censor, and started planning a free public viewing.
“I think that it’s a statement when people come and sit in a seat to see this kind of thing that’s been banned on TV,” Morgan said. “Everyone should be represented in media. The message [by not airing the episode] is not everyone does deserve representation.”
First Church has hosted Sidewalk viewings of films that fit the church’s mission for the last five years. The Rev. Stephanie Arnold spoke at the front of the church sanctuary alongside Sidewalk Film Festival representatives and Magic City Acceptance Center directors to welcome the more than 300 people in attendance.
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[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Abbey Crain and originally published at AL News. Title changed by P&P.]
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