Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has pulled the plug on the state’s sole PBS television station, citing “indoctrination and over–sexualization” of children through content that promotes drag queens and the LGBTQ agenda.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, the Republican leader said the station, OETA–TV, had strayed from its educational mission and that taxpayers should not have to fund it given its far–Left bias. He recently moved to block funding for the station through 2026 unless the state legislature overrides his veto.
“OETA, to us, is an outdated system.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?” Stitt said. “And then when you go through all of the programming 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’s office pointed to a segment of “Let’s Learn,” which featured a drag queen known as Lil Miss Hot Mess reading a purported children’s book called “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish.” Another show aired by the station, “Clifford The Big Red Dog,” features lesbian parents, a show called “Work It Out Wombat” features a gay character, and “Odd Squad” depicted a same–sex wedding. Stitt noted OETA recently aired a segment on its “Newshour” program that voiced support for chemical treatments including puberty blockers for children who identify as transgender.
OETA’s “Pride Month” programming included a special about a town in which Christians “step into the spotlight to dismantle stereotypes” about drag queens.
Democrats in the red state, including State Rep. Monroe Nichols, accused Stitt of mounting an attack on “public education and underrepresented Oklahoma communities.” OETA board member Ken Busby told KTUL taxpayers must support arts and culture.
However, Stitt argued that if the station’s programming was worthwhile, the private sector would make it available.
“When you think about educating kids, let’s teach them to read and their numbers and counting and letters and those kind of things,” he said. “I mean, some of the programming that we’re seeing… it just doesn’t need to be on public television.”
Stitt recently signed into law a ban on all chemical and surgical transgender procedures on children, joining 15 states which have enacted similar laws.
In light of Governor Stitt’s decisions, the fate of OETA–TV is uncertain. The station’s supporters remain adamant that taxpayers should fund the channel, while Stitt maintains that the station‘s programming is too far removed from what is appropriate for children and does not fit with Oklahoma values. It is up to the state legislature to decide whether or not the station will continue to receive funding.