Image for Home And Away Sets The Record Straight

Home And Away Sets The RecordStraight

While The Australian reported late last week that a lesbian kiss had been “muted” from an upcoming scene on Home And Away, Bevan Lee, Head of Creative Drama and Development at Channel Seven, has confirmed that the story is in fact false, and that the kiss will air tonight as planned.

“Firstly, we screened a kiss between two female characters two weeks ago, there’s tonight’s kiss and there’ll be another one in a few episodes time. I think that clearly shows that Channel Seven is not backing away from these kinds of stories,” Lee told Same Same.

“The lesbian story is a six week long story about the attraction of lesbian Joey for the ostensibly straight policeman, Charlie Buckton. It deals with, and has dealt with for the last three weeks, Charlie’s confusion as she finds herself attracted to Joey after she has professional dealings with her.

“The kiss The Australian mentioned in their article is not the kiss that [screens] tonight – it is from an upcoming episode, where Charlie faces her feelings for Joey and they kiss. The kiss, as played, was two part. A very gentle, loving, sensual, tender kiss from which the two women pull back and then there’s another, more lusty follow up. There was a lot of discussion, artistic and not censorish, about where to finish the scene. We finally settled on the conclusion of the warmer, intimate kiss and not the more lusty follow through because we felt it was more in keeping with Charlie getting there by degrees rather than one kiss making her comfortable straight away with the full on pash.

“I think the version that airs is much truer to the tone of the build up to the moment over the last few weeks. The decision taken was artistic and had nothing to do with running from the conservative right. This work was done before the article about the lesbian story and conservative reaction to it even broke in the Herald Sun and on Today Tonight.

“The thing that saddens me, as a gay writer, is that a beautiful six week story has been reduced to a facile argument about six missing seconds of screen time and that the bulk of the commentators, both conservative and liberal, are making pronouncements on story material they know nothing of. We long for the day when we can run a story like this and they can just play in the context of the show.

“All this brouhaha has been about something that has not even aired yet. Once viewers watch the scenes they will agree that we in no way underservice the truth of the story or of the kiss as the story demands. And the way the story proceeds past this point, in the next few weeks, in no way shies away from a dignified and honest treatment of the lesbian relationship.

“I can only assume The Australian heard in some way of the second part of the kiss being removed and leapt to a paranoid conclusion in which the big bad Network were trampling over the rights of the GLBT community. [If only] they were always so zealous in their concern for us over issues like our civil rights.

“The shows ratings have definitely dipped over the last few weeks, but it cannot be proven to be attributable to this story. There could be many factors involved. But this is irrelevant, as none of our choices at Seven in this matter have been ratings driven. How could they be? The final shape of the kiss scene was determined and locked off in the weeks prior to the ratings dip. People don’t realise that this is a 7 o’clock time slot, and if this was a ratings grab there are oodles of ways we could do that. This negative press just undoes every bit of hard work that has been put in – what is a beautiful lesbian story line has now been hi-jacked by interest groups, and it will now make it harder for us to do this in future.

“The Australian got this story wrong on so many levels and the liberal sheep followed behind bleating with alarm. It is amusing and ironic that they did just what they so frequently accuse the conservatives of doing, going off half cocked before they even view the material they’re commenting on. And I make this criticism as a committed liberal, which makes me even sadder about the behaviour I have just witnessed.”

Journalist Amanda Meade, from The Australian, however has told Same Same that she still stands by her story.

“The facts are there was a more passionate kiss which was cut out and a tamer one was left in,” says Meade. “It has not gone to air yet. What Lee said is that his decision to cut the more passionate kiss was made independently of any media storm – and before Today Tonight and The Herald Sun did the story. My information is that they went back and re-edited the scene after the stories came out.”

Melbourne newspaper The Age reports that while hundreds of protesters were expected to gather at Federation Square tonight at 7pm, only about 20 showed up.

Comments arrow left

mick65 said on the 1st Apr, 2009

oh please! its just a kiss.
There is other crap on the box that should be censored


rudeboy86 said on the 1st Apr, 2009

oh please! its just a kiss.
There is other crap on the box that should be censored

Yeah like the Channel 9 News, ABC and SBS. Oh hang on that's already been done.


Asherbella said on the 1st Apr, 2009

'Home & Away' is 20 years old. It must be getting desperate to stay current/topical. A fake censorship story of banning/re-shooting/editing out a gay kiss on Home & Away is reminiscent of Fonzie's dare devil *shark-jumping* bit as 'Happy Days' was in decline...


Asherbella said on the 1st Apr, 2009


DaddyWayne said on the 1st Apr, 2009

And the homophobes bleat like the sheep they are "think of the children" - all because parents are too fucking gutless to discuss same sex relationships with their kids. They leave sex education to the media or the church because they won't deal with it. and gay kids every day are ridiculed and bashed at school because of the attitudes of their school and their peers regarding same sex attraction. Sex education starts at home not on TV and if parents want to put it in the too hard basket - maybe they shouldn't have kids


jal_goh said on the 2nd Apr, 2009

i wish tv soaps/series would just relax and have gay characters in them, it would be more reflective of actual society. if they can include token asians i'm sure they can do the latter at least. ok i was poking fun at the token asian...


emmajane said on the 7th Apr, 2009

I hope this story continues and they actually have a lesbian relationship (not just a kiss) on the show. Home and Away screens ongoing story lines about drugs, teen pregnancy, stalkers, serial killers and rapists but these conservative groups have an issue with a gay kiss! It seems ridiculous that there is even a discussion about it. Keep it up channel 7!


Goldberry said on the 7th Apr, 2009

Bevan Lee is a fool. This is just a ratings grab, nothing to do with promoting a real gay storyline. Lesbians are ok because they titillate straight men, but there's no way known Bevan Lee and other "gay scriptwriters" would feature two young gay male characters in this timeslot.


Goldberry said on the 7th Apr, 2009

And as for the "dozens of women" who reportedly protested against "censorship" at Fed Square. Where were the men? Speaks for itself. Seems like the actual number was 20 women anyway or thereabouts. Manufactured controversy by Channel 7.