Last week Oklahoma’s Republican governor vetoed House Bill 2820, which continues funding for Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, which airs PBS Kids’ “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” “Work It Out Wombats,” “PBS Newshour,” and the Osiyo TV series featuring Cherokee language speakers, national treasures and outstanding citizens.
The Cherokee Nation also helps to fund OETA. Veto overrides require a high approval of at least 2/3rds of both legislative chambers, and it’s unclear whether his veto will be overridden.
In addition there is also the impending deadline. as this year’s legislative session is scheduled to end in three weeks. “I don’t think Oklahomans want to use their tax dollars to indoctrinate kids,” Governor Kevin Stitt told reporters during a press conference on Friday about his decision to veto the bill. “Some of the stuff that they’re showing just overly sexualizes our kids.” In a statement released to various media outlets in the state, a spokesperson for Stitt’s office said that the OETA had promoted LGBTQ-focused Pride Month programming in recent years.
The spokeswoman also took aim at two popular animated children’s cartoons — ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ and ‘Work It Out Wombats!’ — which air nationally on PBS affiliates and OETA have included lesbian characters in some episodes.