Oklahoma’s Republican governor is on a crusade against “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” the network that produces the animated children’s show, and the local affiliate that airs it.
Last week, Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed a bill that authorized funding the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA), which broadcasts PBS programming, through July 2026.
Republicans have targeted PBS funding for years, including Donald Trump during his presidency and Mitt Romney as a presidential candidate in 2012.
At a press conference, Stitt said, “I don’t think Oklahomans want to use their tax dollars to indoctrinate kids. And some of the stuff that they’re showing, it just overly sexualizes our kids. There’s elevating LGBTQIA2S+ voices.” A spokeswoman for Stitt’s office claims that the cut stems from two cartoons, ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ and ‘Work It Out Wombats!’ featuring lesbian characters in some episodes.
Ken Busby, a board member at the fundraising nonprofit Friends of OETA, slammed Stitt’s recklessness in vetoing the bill. He said, “No civilization since the Norman Conquest in 1066 has survived that did not support arts and culture.”
On Monday, Stitt continued his war on the LGBTQ+ community and signed S.B. 613, which bans all forms of gender-affirming care – including reversible puberty blockers – for anyone under the age of 18. It also makes it a felony for doctors to provide this care to trans youth and allows prosecution of health care professionals until their patients turn 45.