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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Lesbian kiss censored on Channel 7

Ok. A few weeks ago the Herald Sun decided that Home and Away having a lesbian relationship and lesbian kiss scene was newsworthy. So newsworthy that it made front page headlines (must have been a slow news day). And I thought "Please, how pathetic. That's not news. This is the 21st century. I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner".

However. On inspecting today's The Age I found this. If you can't be bothered reading it, the gist is that Channel 7 have decided to censor the lesbian kiss in H&A:

Protesters are planning to pucker up in a mass 'kiss-off' at Melbourne's Federation Square tonight to rally against Channel Seven's decision to censor a lesbian kiss on teen soapie Home and Away.

Hundreds of people are expected to gather as the soapie airs at 7pm to peacefully demonstrate against the move by the station to reportedly cut scenes from a lesbian storyline.

Policewoman Charlie Buckton, played by actor Esther Anderson, and deckhand Joey Collins, played by Katie Bell, were due to kiss on tonight's episode.

But according to News Limited reports, some intimate close-up shots were cut following complaints from conservative groups and viewers.

St Kilda-based photographer Emma Phillips said it was a shame people still viewed homosexuality as "shocking".

"It's pretty outrageous in this day and age that we have programs still censoring any gay content and something like Home and Away which is on at prime-time, it's pretty mild content that they have generally anyway," she said.

"I'm surprised at their level of conservatism."

Ms Phillips said she was originally pleased that a show marketed towards teenagers had decided to include a lesbian relationship.

"It's a tough time being a teenager anyway, being a gay teenager is doubly difficult and it's something that's never spoken about at school and my experience has been that the majority of gay people were bullied at school so for something like Home and Away to actually have some positive content just would have contributed enormously to their well-being," she said.

A Melbourne lawyer, who because of discrimination fears did not want to be named, said word of tonight's gathering for straight and gay people was spreading through text messages and emails.

The woman said she did not usually "get involved with these sorts of things" but had been appalled that two women kissing on a television show was still an issue in 2009.

" I think it highlights that there is a large proportion of the community who feel they need to tolerate gay people as opposed to accept them and I think people lose sight of the difference between tolerance and acceptance," she said.

The lawyer said she believed a minority of conservative voices were being given an undue level of influence over what was being screened.

"In this case the conservative minority has been able to sway public opinion to the detriment of the majority," she said.

"And certainly when I forwarded this email this morning to 200 people on my email list, maybe less than a third or even a quarter of people on that list are gay.

"You'd struggle to find a straight person today who doesn't have a gay friend, or knows someone who is gay, so what's the big issues? Come on people, wake up."

She said she was worried what kind of message the decision to censor the kiss would send to Home and Away's young audience.

The lesbian relationship follows a kiss between two schoolgirls on the program last month that seemed to escape the controversy surrounding tonight's episode.

This story was found at:

If you couldn't be bothered reading it, the gist is that Channel 7 have decided to censor the lesbian kiss in H&A.

This is newsworthy. This is not ONLY newsworthy, it is FRONT PAGE OF EVERY PAPER IN AUSTRALIA newsworthy.
As mentioned in the article, I can not believe the conservatism that still exists in a society that allows pre-teen magazines to promote wearing makeup, women's clothing stores to sell clothes labeled xxxs (I mean COME ON), and magazines that allows photoshopped images.

As if it's not bad enough being a teenager. Even more so now than when I was one 8 years ago. How are those teens out there battling with their sexuality supposed to feel? I'd expect such conservatism from the Vatican, for sure. But Australia? Today? REALLY? Censoring something as normal as a lesbian kiss (I repeat KISS, not sex scene) is giving our society the impression that there is something wrong with it. There are so many things wrong with that on so many levels.

This really got up my goat. I don't care if people think it's wrong. The point is that gay people exist. Deal with it. Don't alienate them more by censoring something as low-key as a kiss.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bet Channel Seven never intended to censor that kiss, but put around the rumor that they were considering it in order to generate all this publicity for the show. It certainly worked.

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