Remembering Arthur’s trailblazing LGBT+ representation as the show comes to an end after 25 years

Beloved children’s show Arthur is set to come to an end after its 25th season to the heartbreak of the internet.

The show follows the adventures of anthropomorphic aardvark Arthur, his family and friends on a series of adventures. The cartoon is based on the popular book series by Marc Brown, who first created the Arthur character in 1976.

The show – which first aired in 1996 – is the longest-running children’s animated TV series in US history.

Arthur is not only adored by generations of fans, but it has also won four Emmys and the George Foster Peabody Award. The groundbreaking franchise has expanded into music, video games, viral memes and toys.

Ever since the news first broke, social media has been full of Arthur fans reacting to the heartbreaking news.

Arthur was one of those shows I watched alongside Sesame Street. The show ran longer than SpongeBob as well and to see it finally coming to a end is extremely bittersweet.

— Crimson Mayhem (@Crimson_Mayhem_) July 27, 2021

Arthur is being cancelled after 25 seasons. Please respect my privacy at this time.

— Danielle Pinnock (@bodycourage) July 28, 2021

Arthur is ending. This show is legendary, I genuinely love this show and am super grateful that I got to grow up with it. 25 years is a long time.

What a wonderful kind of day, if we can learn to work and play and get along with each other

— kiki (@offbeatkiki) July 27, 2021

This is some rather sad news.
Apparently, #PBS is cancelling #Arthur with the show having 25 seasons.

Despite me growing up with the 1st 100 episodes or till 2006, it still saddens me to hear 1 of my favorite childhood shows end.

— Sam Aguiar (@Samsapoping) July 27, 2021

Saddened to hear that PBS has cancelled the show “Arthur.” Where else can children encounter Neil Gaiman in a falafel?

— Into The Forest Dark (@ElliottBlackwe3) July 28, 2021

Arthur was my favourite when I was a little one sad to see it go, but at least there’s plenty of episodes to keep fans entertained.

— Tekki the Fairy I’m back! (@PrincessTekki) July 27, 2021

This show was such a big part of my childhood and even as a grownup i still loved watching Arthur. Sad a piece of my childhood is over

— Delanie #Tiffany/Sarah/Kyland (@avriIgirlfriend) July 28, 2021

Variety reported the final season of Arthur is set to launch in winter 2022, but US broadcaster PBS kids assured fans the show will “continue to be available on PBS Kids for years to come”.

Original show developer Kathy Waugh told the Finding DW podcast that Arthur is actually no longer in production. She said the team had “our wrap party” after finishing the show’s last episode “two years ago”.

“I think [PBS] made a mistake, and I think Arthur should come back, and I know I’m not along in thinking they made a mistake,” Waugh said.

Arthur is known for teaching children lessons about diversity and inclusion

The PBS Kids show surprised fans in 2019 after revealing its character Mr Ratburn is gay as he got married to another male character named Patrick. The season 22 episode touchingly portrayed the love between the couple and the beauty of same-sex marriage.

The groundbreaking moment drew a positive reception from viewers. Many grown-up Arthur fans praised the series and were touched by the heartwarming storyline.

Fans of the children’s TV show Arthur were invited to wish Mr Ratburn and his husband Patrick a happy second wedding anniversary. The responses were weird. (Facebook/@ArthurPBS)

Earlier this year, the show’s creators remembered the historic event by inviting fans to “wish Mr Ratburn and Patrick a happy two year anniversary“.

Arthur has focused on lessons learned by its main cast of characters, covering issues like cancer, racism, activism and bullying. It also taught viewers valuable lessons about accepting people’s differences, talents and individuality.