Sebastian Gorka, who formerly served as a national security adviser to President Donald Trump until he left the White House in late 2017, derided the decision of a popular children’s television series to depict one of its characters as gay.
“Arthur,” which is the longest-running kids’ show in television history, had its 22nd season premiere earlier this week on PBS. On the program, the children’s 3rd-grade teacher Mr. Ratburn married another male character named Patrick.
While it was hailed across the internet as a positive depiction for children to see, many conservative commentators lambasted the decision by the show to showcase a same-sex relationship. Gorka, who hosts a Salem Radio Network program called “America First,” was among those who were critical in a severe and hyperbolic way.
“My children used to watch ‘Arthur’ 15 years ago, about a rodent-like creature that lived and had fun in his cartoon world,” Gorka explained to his listeners. “The new season of ‘Arthur’ will have one of Arthur’s teachers at school, a male teacher, married to a fellow male rodent.”
Sebastian Gorka ominously says "we're in a war for our culture" because Mr. Ratburn is having a gay wedding pic.twitter.com/Yp9v5uksWW
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) May 15, 2019
The radio host wasn’t having it.
“This is a war for our culture, and that’s why we exist here, on ‘America First,’ on the Salem Radio Network,” Gorka told his listeners Tuesday, per reporting from Towleroad.
Gorka lamented that the marriage on “Arthur” was to the detriment of society overall.
“Civil society doesn’t exist, friendship doesn’t exist, family doesn’t exist,” the former White House adviser said.
“Did you have any questions about there being a culture war, ladies and gentlemen? Did you have any doubt in your mind?” he added.
Gorka’s criticisms are outlandish, but perhaps not surprising. His extreme right-wing viewpoints are not exactly hidden.
Gorka’s own radio program, “America First,” alludes to a slogan used by Trump in his 2016 presidential campaign, but has its roots in usage before America’s entry into World War II by organizations that sympathized with the Nazi cause, the Washington Post reported. The former White House adviser also wore the insignia of a Nazi-aligned Hungarian group at the inauguration ball of the president in January 2017.
“Arthur” has faced backlash in the past, and made the decision in 2005 not to feature an episode from a spinoff series called “Postcards from Buster” because of criticism from right-wing groups that it would depict a family with two lesbian mothers.
Marc Brown, who authored the “Arthur” book series prior to it becoming a popular television series, decried that decision at the time, saying it was important to air episodes that showcased children and their families “who are seldom validated.”
Brown also spoke positively about the newest episode of the series.
“Art reflects life. Life reflects art. And I think that kids need to see what’s happening in the world,” he said, per reporting from the CBC.
Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.