Game of Thrones wasn’t the only show that had Twitter abuzz over the weekend. People were also talking about Arthur after Mr. Ratburn came out as gay and married another male character in the premiere of the cartoon’s 22nd season.
In the episode titled “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” Arthur and his classmates thought that their teacher was marrying a bossy woman named Patty—only to find out that she was his sister and that instead, Mr. Ratburn would be marrying chocolatier Patrick.
The onscreen gay marriage is something that PBS hopes has a positive impact on its young viewers. “PBS KIDS programs are designed to reflect the diversity of communities across the nation,” the network said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. “We believe it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children who look to PBS KIDS every day.”
And judging by the reactions on Twitter, it did just that. So many people took to social media to celebrate the show’s public support of gay rights, in fact, that “Mr. Ratburn” started trending online.
I found out that Mr. Ratburn's getting married to a bloke on Arthur and I say hey (hey) what a wonderful kind of gay.
— Gavin Herman (@MrHissara) May 13, 2019
Mr. Ratburn is trending which is as good a time as any to remind the world that pic.twitter.com/mRtwFBzV8i
— mix1073DC (@mix1073DC) May 13, 2019
One woman praised Arthur for giving Mr. Ratburn more of a leading role than the gay character in Avengers: Endgame (who was the first openly gay character in a Marvel movie, FYI), challenging other networks and entertainment companies to follow PBS’ example.
It turns out Arthur is more courageous and explicit than Avengers: Endgame when it comes to LGBTQ2 lives and storylines. Congrats Mr. Ratburn! Your move, Marvel…. https://t.co/eq99SerHaC
— Rachel Giese (@rachelagiese) May 13, 2019
Then there were those who were simply ecstatic for one of their favorite characters, calling him a “gay icon.”
Mr. Ratburn is the gay icon I never knew I needed pic.twitter.com/wp4o5TLr1p
— Andrea Cee (@extraspicee) May 13, 2019
for real tho I have loved mr. ratburn basically my whole life, it honestly lifts my heart to see he has a husband now
— Son Of a Bitch 🤠 (@ZaneJuIien) May 13, 2019
Another person shared a hilarious meme joking that gay people knew all along that Mr. Ratburn was also gay. According to one user, the moment they realized the teacher was gay was when he enjoyed cake “before it was cool.”
gay people who grew up with Arthur: haha mr. ratburn is gay
mr. ratburn: (is actually gay)
the gay people: pic.twitter.com/sjSB7gm0ip
— snufkai (@kaicedcoffee) May 13, 2019
And then there were the people, like fan Erica Mendez, who were surprised about Mr. Ratburn coming out—but were even more surprised that Arthur even still existed…
I think the biggest surprise about Mr. Ratburn from Arthur being gay is that I'm just now finding out that Arthur is still coming out with new episodes.
— Erica Mendez (@tsunderica) May 14, 2019