The long-running Australian television program Play School
has cast same-sex parents who are to appear in a segment of the educational children’s show.
Entering its 50th
consecutive year of production, producers had put out the call for participants in their ‘through the window segment’ to profile blended family units across Australian society, reports The Guardian Australia
The brief reportedly called for "an adopted family, an extended family, a blended family, an Indigenous nuclear family and a family with two dads”.
“We’re really excited about the My Family, Your Family segments,” said Play School
executive producer Jan Stradling.
“The idea is to reflect current Australian society by showing a range of family structures and backgrounds.
"In these stories, we explore the relationships and bonds of a family. We will look at how they care for one another and share experiences, roles and responsibilities.”
Stradling said the diverse casting would promote “a sense of belonging for a child regardless of family type”. “The focus of the ‘through the windows’ segments is always on the child and the favourite activities they love to do with their families, the emphasis being on spending time together,” she said.
Back in 2004, Play School
faced media and community backlash after a segment featured a daughter with her “two mums”.
At the time, then-Prime Minister John Howard said the broadcaster’s decision to air the clip was “foolish”, while then-health minister Tony Abbott said the move was “shocking”.
“I think that if I’d been watching it with my kids, I’d have been a bit shocked,” he said.
Twelve years later, Stradling says Play School
would continue to represent a diverse range of voices, “regardless of the nature of their family”. “In Play School’s 50th year, we are focusing on the theme My Family, Your Family,” she said.
“What a great opportunity for today’s young Australians to see themselves reflected on screen, as part of the diverse, unique Australian community we live in.”
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