Video: Mr. Rogers' 1-Minute Song About Gender Would Likely Be Banned by PBS Today


Few figures are as universally celebrated and beloved as American television host and Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers.

His show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” an educational program for preschool-age children, is perhaps the crowning achievement of the Public Broadcasting Service.

Despite the show ending only a few decades ago, it’s unlikely that PBS would feel comfortable broadcasting it today — especially episodes about the biological reality of gender.

“Boys are boys from the beginning. Girls are girls right from the start. Everybody’s fancy. Everybody’s fine. Your body’s fancy and so is mine,” Rogers sings in the clip below.

'A Significant Development': Judge Deals a Blow to Fani Willis, Rules Nathan Wade's Divorce Attorney Must Take the Stand

During a 1980 interview on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” Rogers explained the purpose of the 60-second song.

Carson asked if the audience of Rogers’ show was too young for the topic of sex.

“Not at all,” Rogers responded. “That’s where they learn the differences.”

“Sometimes children think that they might change, they might have to change after a while. And, you know, we laugh about that now, but it’s because we had that concern when we were little,” Rogers said.

Is Mr. Rogers right about gender?

Carson followed up, saying, “Yeah, because you’re really not sure. You thought maybe you’d become a girl or a girl would become a boy, right?”

“Exactly,” Rogers said.

“Happens frequently out here,” Carson said to a roar of laughter from the audience.

In places like Burbank, California, where “The Tonight Show” was filmed, it seems that transgenderism was already growing in prevalence in 1980.

Trans Activist Arrested After Charging Attack on Pro-Lifers During March for Life Rally

But unlike back then, few would likely laugh at such a joke today.

And, given the current state of affairs surrounding gender, few television networks would likely air Rogers’ views of gender.

In recent years, PBS has actually run a number of programs that support the practice of transitioning children, sending the exact opposite message of Rogers’ song.

These programs include “Growing Up Trans” and “Prideland,” in which gay and transgender individuals tell their stories.

The network even went so far as to produce a show for 3- to 8-year-olds featuring a drag queen, according to Newsweek.

In the episode, a drag queen named “Lil Miss Hot Mess” read a book entitled “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish.”

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , , , ,
Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
Topics of Expertise
Culture, Faith, Politics, Education, Entertainment