Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt is defending his decision to defund the state’s PBS station over its “indoctrination and over-sexualization of our children.”
Stitt vetoed a bill last week that would have funded the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) through 2026 citing the increasing LGBTQ content — including on Sesame Street.
“I don’t think Oklahomans want to use their tax dollars to indoctrinate kids,” Stitt said during a press conference about the veto. “And some of the stuff that they’re showing, it just overly sexualizes our kids.”
Without the funding, the station is expected to go off air on July 1 — unless the legislature decides to override the veto.
Speaking to Fox News, Stitt said, “OETA, to us, is an outdated system.”
“You know, the big, big question is why are we spending taxpayer dollars to prop up or compete with the private sector and run television stations? And then when you go through all of the programing that’s happening and the indoctrination and over-sexualization of our children, it’s just really problematic, and it doesn’t line up with Oklahoma values,” Stitt continued.
Proving an example of the content that the station is airing, Stitt cited a segment of “Let’s Learn” where a character called “Lil Miss Hot Mess” read a book called “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish.”
“When you think about educating kids, let’s teach them to read and their numbers and counting and letters and those kind of things,” Gov. Stitt said. “I mean, some of the programing that we’re seeing… it just doesn’t need to be on public television.”
Fox reports, “The governor’s office also pointed to a ‘PBS Newshour’ feature on parents’ support for various gender care treatments including puberty blockers, a gay character in ‘Work It Out Wombats’ which airs on OETA, PBS Kids’ ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ introducing LGBTQ characters, a plethora of Pride Month programming on OETA, a special about a town of Christians and drag queens who ‘step into the spotlight to dismantle stereotypes,’ and a same-sex wedding featured on PBS Kids’ ‘Odd Squad.'”
“Oklahoma taxpayers are going, ‘Hey, hang on, time out for just a second. That’s not my values,’” he said. “I’m just tired of using taxpayer dollars for some person’s agenda. I represent the taxpayers.”
OETA is reportedly the most-watched PBS station in the country.
Stitt pointed out that taxpayer-funded television is no longer needed with the internet and the amount of free content being produced daily.