Kids' show with two moms stirs uproar
Fri Jun 4, 7:08 PM ET
SUMMARY: A young girl discussing an amusement park trip with her two mothers, depicted on an Australian children's TV show, did not amuse government ministers.
A popular children's television show in Australia is under fire from politicians for showing a young girl in a scene with her two mothers.
The episode aired Monday as part of "Play School," which is broadcast by the state-run Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC). During the show, a young girl named Brenna tells viewers about her plans for the day.
"That's me in the blue," she says. "My mums are taking me and my friend Meryn to an amusement park." As she speaks, images of the two smiling and waving mothers appear, according to BBC News.
Communications Minister Daryl Williams denounced the episode as inappropriate. "The government understands that parents would expect a program like 'Play School' to deal with issues which are appropriate for the age of its audience," he said.
Children's Minister Larry Anthony told the BBC, "When it comes to my children, when I want to explain about same-sex couples, it should be up to parents."
However, the two parents who appeared in the episode, Vicki Harding and her partner Jackie Braw, believe the uproar over the show is unnecessary.
"It's really been a lot of fuss about something that's really inoffensive," Harding, a children's author, told The Australian newspaper. "There was no talk about a relationship or even sex in the episode."
The episode aired days after Prime Minister John Howard announced controversial legislation to ban same-sex marriages and prevent gay and lesbian couples from adopting foreign-born children.
Meanwhile, ABC stands behind the show. "'Play School' aims to reflect the diversity of Australian children, embracing all manner of race, religion and family situations," said Claire Henderson, head of ABC children's television.