'Arthur' PBS Show Ending After 25 Seasons

"Arthur" -- the longest-running children's animated series in U.S. TV history -- is coming to an end. And it begs a question ... Hey, what gives?!

Carol Greenwald, executive producer of the PBS kids show, confirmed in an email to IGN that "the winter of 2022, the 25th and final season of Arthur will debut." For what it's worth ... she also said the production company and PBS KIDS will "work together on additional Arthur content, sharing the lessons of Arthur and his friends in new ways." Streaming, anyone?

Anyway ... sad to see "Arthur" go away on the small screen. The kids show debuted on PBS back in 1996 and produced over 240 episodes. The show's based on Marc Brown's "Arthur Adventure" book series.

The series -- which in its long run hauled in 4 Emmys and a Peabody Award -- tackled tons of social issues between family and friends in the fictional town of Elwood City.

Most recently, Arthur's longtime classroom teacher, Mr. Ratburn, married a guy in the season 22 debut. No question about it ... the theme was a monumental moment in TV history.

The children's TV show also forever etched its name in pop culture lore thanks to the memorable memes that bridge generations.

Nobody will ever forget Arthur's hilarious "clenched fist" meme. And, of course, D.W. Read's fence meme. Classics.

Mister Rogers to Co-Star You Can Be My Neighbor ... But Not if You're Gay

"Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" was no place for gay people ... so says one of the stars.

Francois Clemmons, who played Officer Clemmons from 1968 - 1995, says in his new memoir, Fred Rogers got wind of the fact Clemmons was gay, pulled him aside and said, "Franc, you have talents and gifts that set you apart and above the crowd. Someone has informed us that you were seen at the local gay bar downtown. Now, I want you to know, Franc, that if you're gay, it doesn't matter to me at all."

And, then the other shoe dropped ... "Whatever you say and do is fine with me, but if you're going to be on the show as an important member of the 'Neighborhood,' you can't be out as gay."

Clemmons told People Rogers told him secrecy was the only way ... "You must do this Francois ... because it threatens my dream," adding, "I was destroyed. The man who was killing me had also saved me. He was my executioner and deliverer. But, at the same time, I knew that he would know how to comfort me."

According to Clemmons, whose memoir is titled, "Officer Clemmons," Rogers also told him the audience didn't care who he was sleeping with ... "especially if it's a man."

And, there's more ... according to Clemmons, Rogers urged him to marry a woman, and he obliged. Clemmons married La-Tanya Mae Sheridan. They divorced in 1974 and later Clemmons came out.

He says he forgives the legendary TV host ... "Lord have mercy, yes. I forgive him. More than that, I understand. I relied on the fact that this was his dream. He had worked so hard for it. I knew Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was his whole life."

Carson Kressley 'Bout Time PBS Aired a Gay Wedding 'Arthur' Gave Kids the Truth


Carson Kressley thinks it's incredible a major children's show has finally caught up with the times and showcased a gay marriage ... 'cause it sure ain't 1950 anymore.

We got the 'Queer Eye' legend Tuesday at LAX and he gave us his take on the cartoon series, "Arthur," having its longtime classroom teacher, Mr. Ratburn, marry a guy in the Season 22 premiere ... much to his students' pleasant surprise. It was a HUGE moment in TV history.

Carson tells us it's satisfying to see media gatekeepers realize reality has caught up to us, and you can't really ignore gay people anymore, especially when it comes to kids.

Oh, and check out Carson's attempt at trying to decipher what kind of animal Mr. Ratburn (rat, BTW) -- it's hilarious ... and a little NSFW too. Get this man back in front of a camera!!!

It's interesting ... "Sesame Street" brass came out last year to shoot one of their former writer's notion that Bert and Ernie were, in fact, a gay couple -- to the chagrin of the LGBT community. Weirdly enough though, the company seems to have deleted its statement.

Either way, it looks like "Arthur" is picking up the baton though and ready to represent.

Tavis Smiley Sent Porn to Coworkers ... PBS Claims in Countersuit

Ex-PBS host Tavis Smiley just got hit with a countersuit from his former employer, and it lays out the allegations of sexual misconduct ... which include sex with employees and sending porn to coworkers.

PBS filed its suit Friday in Washington, DC claiming Smiley engaged in a pattern of sexual misconduct over years. The network hired an investigator after Smiley was initially suspended when employees made claims. In the suit, PBS says it discovered Smiley had multiple sexual encounters with subordinates, made unwanted sexual advances and commented on subordinates' body parts.

According to a witness, PBS says Smiley told one female subordinate, he "would like to see her on her back more often." He also allegedly admitted he "may" have sent pornographic photos to coworkers.

Smiley's show was eventually cancelled, and, as we've reported ... he filed suit against PBS for "trumped up" sexual harassment allegations against him that he claims were racially motivated.

In its suit, PBS is seeking $1.9 million in salary it says it paid Smiley for 2 seasons.

Tavis Smiley Sues PBS Fired Me Over 'Trumped Up' Sexual Harassment Claims

Tavis Smiley says PBS firing him wasn't just about sexual harassment allegations ... he now claims it was racial, and it's costing him millions upon millions of dollars.

Smiley filed a lawsuit against his former network -- which aired his talk show for 14 years -- claiming the sexual harassment allegations against him were "trumped up." Immediately after Smiley was suspended in mid December, he admitted to having relationships with coworkers ... but insisted they were all consensual. He was fired later that month.

In his lawsuit, first reported by the Washington Post, Smiley says there was racial tension at PBS. He claims network honchos "hassled Mr. Smiley when he had African American guests who espoused controversial positions, and effectively tried to stop any such guests from appearing."

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Smiley also says in the docs ... his personal production company has been hemorrhaging "multiple millions of dollars" since he got fired, and he's been forced to lay off roughly 20 employees.

PBS calls Smiley's lawsuit a "meritless" attempt to distract the public from his "pattern of sexual misconduct." Jennifer Rankin Byrne, Communications VP for PBS, also reiterated an independent law firm's investigation found Smiley had "multiple sexual encounters with subordinates over many years."

Byrne says that's why Smiley was ultimately fired and it's "ridiculous and false" for him to claim it was about anything else.

Tavis Smiley Work Is Where You Find a Spouse ... Don't Ban Employee Dating

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Tavis Smiley knows it's hard to find Mr. or Mrs. Right, and insists that's why he never discouraged employees -- including himself, apparently -- from dating co-workers.

The suspended PBS talk show host took a stand for workplace dating Monday night on Tucker Carlson's FOX News show. Remember, PBS benched Tavis last week amid sexual misconduct allegations -- and true to his word, he's now vigorously defending himself.

The way Tavis sees it -- it's wrong to ban employees from dating because it's hard to meet someone when you're working your ass off. He's ignoring the power dynamic -- supervisors, like himself, dating people who work under him.

Still, he's passionate about the issue.


Tavis Smiley I'm Fighting Back Against PBS!!! Denies Sexual Misconduct


Tavis Smiley says PBS railroaded him during its investigation into claims he was having sex with staffers, and he's vowing to take a stand against the network's "overreaction."

The talk show host, who PBS suspended Wednesday, says he only learned of the PBS investigation through former staffers who let him know they'd been contacted. Smiley says he confronted his bosses, and only then did investigators talk to him ... for 3 hours.

It's clear Smiley isn't happy with what went down -- he says investigators refused to talk to his current staff or accept documentation supporting his side of the story. He insists he "never groped, inappropriately exposed myself or coerced any colleague in the workplace ever in my 30 year career."

Smiley accuses PBS of running a sloppy investigation and says he will fight back.

He also says there's a bigger picture conversation to be had about how men and women should be able to interact in the workplace.

Tavis Smiley Suspended By PBS 'Troubling' Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Tavis Smiley is the next big star under fire for alleged sexual misconduct ... PBS has suspended the talk show host after an investigation uncovered "credible allegations."

Smiley is a veteran talk show host who focuses on politics and current events -- he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Smiley was allegedly banging multiple lower-level staffers who believed their employment status was dependent on their sexual relationship with them, according to Variety.

Now, PBS is taking action ... "Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of ‘Tavis Smiley," the network said in a statement.

"PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley."

"The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision."

Story developing ...

Elmo F Is for Fired ... By Donald Grump?!

Elmo is weighing in on President Trump's plan to cut his salary ... and Elmo ain't tickled. Not at all.

The normally happy "Sesame Street" resident was pretty surly in this spoof reacting to Trump's proposed congressional budget, in which the prez wants to completely eliminate federal funding for PBS.

Unclear if PBS or "Sesame Street" brass signed off on this -- but it's pretty damn funny.

Elmo down on his luck.

Waiting for your permission to load the Facebook Video.

Ben Affleck Sorry I Hid the Slave Owner In My Family Tree

Ben Affleck is owning up to coercing "Finding Your Roots" producers to omit the fact one of his ancestors owned slaves -- and admits he was embarrassed by the discovery.

Affleck copped to lobbying the PBS show to hold the slavery -- which it did -- because "the very thought left a bad taste in my mouth." In the apology, posted on Facebook, he says participating in the show makes you vulnerable ... and he assumed it would not "include things you think would embarrass your family."

The cover-up only came to light when WikiLeaks posted hacked Sony emails between Ben and show execs.

Ben says he believes America's slavery history should not be swept under the rug ... and adds, "I regret my initial thoughts that the issue of slavery not be included in the story. We deserve neither credit nor blame for our ancestors."

Katy Perry's Honkers Too Hot for 'Sesame Street'

Katy Perry's breasts -- and song -- have been yanked from "Sesame Street" ... after the show began receiving complaints like, "DUDE MY SON SAW THIS AND GOT A BONER WTTTTTTTTTF."

Katy shot a segment for the show -- which was supposed to air on New Year's Eve -- in which she sings a cleaned-up version of her song, "Hot N Cold" with Elmo.

The song made its way to YouTube Monday and racked up nearly a million views. But some parents started complaining her cleavage was too front and center. We've learned producers have decided not to air the song on the show.

Among the parental comments:

-- "You can practically see her t*ts. That's some wonderful children's programming."
-- "they're gonna have to rename it cleavage avenue"
-- "my kid wants milk now"

Fact is ... what looks like Katy's bare chest is actually covered in flesh-colored mesh that goes all the way to her neck.

(This post was brought to you by the letter C-cup.)

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