Oklahoma’s governor has defended his decision to shut down his state’s PBS affiliate over children’s programming he deemed inappropriate, including a transvestite reading a story to children.
Kevin Stitt, a Republican, blocked funding for the state’s PBS station until 2026 with the move, citing several shows on OETA that it finds “offensive.”
Shows on the network include “Sesame Street,” “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and “Clifford The Big Red Dog” — featuring lesbian parents. The network will cease operations this year unless the legislature overrides the veto.
The governor’s office claims that part of “Let’s Learn” was objectionable, with a children’s book titled “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish” being read by Lil Miss Hot Mess.
Speaking to Fox News Digital, Stitt said: “OETA is an outdated system for us. You know, the big, big question is why are we spending tax dollars to support the private sector or compete and run television stations?
Kevin Stitt blocked funding for the state’s PBS station until 2026 with the move, citing several shows on OETA that he finds “offensive”
Governor’s office claims a children’s book titled “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish” read by Lil Miss Hot Mess is objectionable
“And then when you go through all the programming that’s going on and the indoctrination and over-sexualization of our kids, it’s just really problematic, and it doesn’t align with Oklahoma values.”
He also criticized a Newshour article that included parental support for gender-affirming treatments for transgender children — including puberty blockers.
There was also a gay character in ‘Wok It Out Wombats’, which airs on OETA, as well as Clifford the Big Red Dog who introduced LGBTQ characters.
His agency also criticized Pride Month programming, including a special about a town of Christians, drag queens who “step into the spotlight to dismantle stereotypes,” and a same-sex marriage featured on PBS Kids’ “Odd Squad.”
Governor Stitt has pushed back his critics’ claims that the shows are “educational,” adding, “If you think about raising kids, let’s teach them to read and their numbers and counting and letters and things like that.”
“I mean, some of the shows we see… they just don’t need to be on public television.”
He claims that if the programming is so popular, it could be picked up by other broadcasters who don’t need taxpayers’ money to stay afloat.
The governor said, “Oklahoma taxpayers are saying, ‘Hey, hold on, time out for a second.’ Those are not my values.
There was also a gay character in ‘Wok It Out Wombats’ which airs on OETA as well as Clifford the Big Red Dog who introduced LGBTQ characters
He also criticized a Newshour article that included parental support for gender-affirming treatments, including puberty blockers
“I’m tired of using taxpayers’ money for someone’s agenda. I represent the taxpayer. There is so much television, there is so much media.
“Perhaps in 1957 you could have argued that you needed a public television channel. That is now completely outdated.
“All those towers and our communication tools, it’s all owned by the state and whether we continue to fund an aging public television station with taxpayers’ money, or we let the free market work, we’ll still have the same capabilities, the same assets, the same towers.
‘For example, our DPS system rolls out the Amber Alerts. None of that goes away.
“So that’s just people confusing the issue, not being clear on their mission, trying to make excuses as to why taxpayers’ money should still fund this outdated system.”
His agency also criticized Pride Month programming, including a special about a town of Christians, drag queens who “step into the spotlight to dismantle stereotypes,” and a same-sex marriage seen in “Odd Squad” of PBS Kids.
However, his claims have angered more left-wing politicians, with Democratic state representative Monroe Nichols labeling the move as an attack by Stitt on “public education and underrepresented communities in Oklahoma.”
OETA board member Ken Busby objected to the decision, saying a civilization cannot survive without supporting art and culture, according to KTUL.
It comes after Stitt banned all sex reassignment procedures for minors in the state, including irreversible sex reassignment surgeries and hormone therapies.
He joined at least 15 other states with similar laws.