- Samson Omale
Parents Beware: PBS Kids Show 'The Odd Squad' Features Same-Sex Wedding
Updated: Jul 22, 2022
The latest episode of a PBS Kids show features a same-sex wedding in the most recent example of children’s programming making overtures to the LGBT community.
One of the most recent episodes of the live-action children’s series “Odd Squad,” titled “Monumental Oddness,” premiered on PBS Kids on July 5. The episode previously aired in Canada on Feb. 1, 2021.
It features the protagonists, a group of superhero children called the “Odd Squad,” trying to stop a villain from destroying some of the world’s most beloved monuments by transforming them into key chains.
The stated goal of the series is to teach children between the ages of 5 and 8 about math.
In this particular episode, the characters try to figure out the numerical pattern behind the attacks against the monuments, which are part of a list of the world’s most impressive monuments compiled by another character.
At first, they believe the villain is targeting only even-numbered monuments, but revise their conclusion when he strikes monument No. 8 instead of monument No. 6.
However, a subplot in the episode has absolutely nothing to do with math.
Believing that the villain is set to strike the Eiffel Tower next, the children order two lesbians in the middle of their same-sex wedding taking place in front of the structure to vacate the premises. The brides are both wearing white dresses.
“But we’ve been waiting for this day for years,” one of the two brides protests. “There’s no villain stronger than our love for each other,” the other remarks.
One of the children appears touched by the scene, putting his hand on his heart, while the other asks, “Could you get married fast?”
The second bride insists that “we would, except our wedding officiant isn’t here yet, the same for our flower girl.” The first bride notes that the musicians have not yet arrived, maintaining that, “I can’t walk down the aisle without music.”
The children ultimately help with the wedding by filling the roles of flower girl, musician and officiant on a rotating basis. While officiating the wedding, one of the children receives a phone call informing him that the villain has struck two additional monuments and ordering the Odd Squad to figure out the pattern behind the attacks.
The protagonists attempt to leave the ceremony before it is complete, but one of the brides requests that they finish the wedding. “I now declare you married. Have a wonderful life, goodbye,” he says as he quickly departs the scene.
While the same-sex wedding scene does not feature a same-sex kiss between the two women, the two of them hold hands after their marriage becomes official as flowers appear in the air.
Eventually, the main characters determine that the villain is striking the monuments based on the decade they were built and confront him as he attempts to create his sixth key chain.
After he vows to put the monuments back, one of the children asks, “What shall we do to celebrate?”
The Odd Squad returns to the Eiffel Tower to attend the wedding reception of the two women who got married earlier in the episode. The children dance alongside the brides as fireworks boom in the background.
Last week’s episode of “The Odd Squad” is not the first time PBS Kids has included a same-sex wedding in television programming geared toward young children.
In 2019, the long-running cartoon series “Arthur,” based on the children’s book series of the same name, featured a same-sex wedding where the main characters’ teacher, Mr. Ratburn, is one of the grooms.
Less than a year later, the conservative group One Million Moms crafted a petition expressing outrage over the introduction of a same-sex couple in the reboot of the PBS Kids children series “Clifford the Big Red Dog.”
“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,” the petition read. “PBS KIDS should stick to entertaining and providing family-friendly programming, instead of pushing an agenda.”
In addition to the taxpayer-funded PBS, other media companies have also incorporated LGBT characters into children’s programming.
For example, the streaming service Paramount Plus’ reboot of the Nickelodeon series “Rugrats” has reintroduced one of the main characters’ mothers as a lesbian single mom.
The LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD is pushing for LGBT characters to constitute 20% of all television characters by the year 2025.
Earlier this year, GLAAD CEO Sara Kate Ellis vowed that her organization “will soon convene the biggest brands, agencies, studios, and streamers together” to “commit to improving the quantity, quality and diversity of LGBTQ images, especially in kids and family programming.”
PBS Kids announced last month that it was unveiling a new logo for the first time in two decades.
The new logo, which debuts on July 19, is "designed to build on the equity and strength of the PBS KIDS brand and optimized for today's digitally-focused kids and families," the statement reads.
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