Originally created 02/03/05

Boston stations to show controversial children's show



NEW YORK - Several PBS stations will air an episode of the children's show "Postcards From Buster" despite the network's decision not to distribute it nationwide because two lesbian couples were depicted in it.

So far, 21 stations have said they will air it and another six have indicated they probably will, Jeanne Hopkins, spokeswoman for Boston's WGBH-TV, said Tuesday. The station produced the series.

PBS said last week it would not distribute the episode to its 349 stations around the country. The show features an animated character, Buster, visiting farms in Vermont where maple sugar is produced, and includes two lesbian couples that work on the farms.

The decision came after newly appointed Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings complained about public money being used to promote alternative lifestyles. PBS gets funding for the series through the federal Ready-To-Learn program, aimed at helping young people learn through television.

"We do disagree with the (PBS) decision and were disappointed," Hopkins said. "We feel that the program, and the other 39 episodes in the series, met the goals set out for it, which is to teach children to understand and accept the rich cultural diversity of this country."

WGBH is among the stations that will air the episode. So will PBS stations in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Hopkins said.