KBDI-Channel 12 to Air the Controversial Episode of “Postcards from Buster” and to Examine Cultural Diversity through a “Live” Public Affairs Special
Release Date: 02/01/05
Author: Paula Roth, Director of Marketing and Events
KBDI-Channel 12 plans two airings of “Sugartime” a controversial episode of Postcards from Buster, the renowned PBS children’s series. The first airing will be at 7:00p.m. on Wednesday February 9th, as part of a two-hour special edition of Colorado Inside Out Live. The CIO Live show will provide a forum for discussion of the episode and its various characteristics with a diverse panel of experts and opinion leaders, and it will invite viewer call-ins. The second airing will be at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday February 13th, the regularly scheduled time for Postcards from Buster on Channel 12.
The "Sugartime" episode of Postcards from Buster is drawing fire because it features, in part, families that live in different home environments than what is considered “normal” by some. During the episode, Buster visits homes in which the two parents are both women. Due to that part of the program and the critical comments by U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spelling, many PBS stations across the country are choosing not to air the show.
"Channel 12 feels otherwise," commented Wick Rowland, President of KBDI. "Under the terms of its federal grant, Postcards from Buster is charged with informing children about the diversity of life in the U.S. and the many, varied circumstances in which children and families live. The ‘Sugartime’ episode directly meets that goal, and in keeping with KBDI’s deep tradition of exploring difficult, frequently unpopular topics, Channel 12 is pleased not only to offer that episode, but also to use it as a basis for extended discussion in one of our signature, local, prime-time public affairs programs. The CIO Live special will deal with television’s portrayal of various lifestyles and the national debates about the “culture wars” in the media and politics.”
Kirby McClure, KBDI’s programming director, said that “‘Sugartime’ touches on so many important aspects of the diverse reality in which children live in contemporary society that it merits airing. Because this episode has sparked such controversy nationally, KBDI feels it also should be used to allow our viewers to participate in an informed discussion about a series of important social issues.”
About Postcards from Buster
Postcards from Buster is a series dedicated to fostering awareness among children of cultural diversity in America. Buster is a rabbit that visits children all over the country, meeting their parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors. In previous episodes, Buster, and his pilot father have visited with Mormon families, Norwegians in South Dakota, Native Americans in Wyoming, evangelical Christians, orthodox Muslims, children with single mothers, and others living with grandparents.
As with all Postcards episodes this one has many themes and subjects. They include learning about the tapping of maple trees and the making of maple sugar and syrup, and the milking process on a dairy farm and the making cheese and other products. Also during his visit to Vermont, Buster participates in a Jewish Sabbath service, and he interacts with children of various backgrounds, some living in step-parentage situations, one of mixed race, and another with mental disabilities.
The dominant thread throughout the show is Buster's struggle to find a Mother's Day gift for his mom and the help he receives in that quest from his father and all his new friends and acquaintances. It turns out as well that during his visit he meets two sets of women who are live-together partners and parents.