The “Arthur” Creator Addressed Perceptions Of Arthur’s Race


“Any child can walk into a story and feel an affinity with any of the characters that they want to identify with.”

Whether you were a kid in the ’90s or much more recently, you’ve probably seen Arthur — television’s longest-running animated program for children and an acclaimed show that, for a multitude of reasons, continues to hold a special place in our hearts years after watching it.

We’re talking and reading a lot about Arthur this week, since the series officially wrapped on Monday after 25 seasons.

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PBS Kids / Via youtube.com

The final episode, which notably featured Arthur‘s main cast of kiddos as adults in a widely covered flash-forward sequence, sparked its share of online nostalgia.

While most of us found ourselves feeling reflective and reminiscent over the end of an era, Arthur‘s creator, Marc Brown — who authored the picture book series that PBS Kids adapted for TV — looked back on its legacy, shared some thoughts on its future, and answered a few questions about the show’s beloved characters in a new interview with Variety.

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He specifically addressed how viewers have perceived Arthur’s race, after the interviewer pointed out that she and so many others saw the cartoon aardvark, his family, and residents of his town as Black.

PBS Kids / Via youtube.com

As Variety‘s report notes, elements of Black culture seemed to influence Arthur‘s storylines, music, and the colors of its characters, and young audiences took notice.

“I love that,” said Marc. “And the magic that all of these characters happening to be animals levels the playing field. And any child can walk into a story and feel an affinity with any of the characters that they want to identify with. That was just this incredible bonus that happened with Arthur.”

“I myself didn’t really put a race on Arthur. That would be my honest answer,” the creator explained. “But like I said, I love the fact that I can walk into a school in Harlem and talk to the kids, and they all think he’s Black. And we don’t have to really discuss it. It’s just there. I hear it all the time, and I love it.”

You can read Mark’s Variety interview here.

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