Doctor Who Cuts Lesbian Kiss for Asia Broadcast
The lesbian kiss in the Doctor Who broadcast that led to a whopping six complaints in the UK has been cut from the broadcast in Asia.
The scene in the eighth season premiere, "Deep Breath," was the first overt physical encounter between lesbian married couple Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint. There were complaints that the kiss was "gratuitous," "pornographic," and serving the "gay agenda," but the UK's watchdog agency refused to investigate. They stated, "Having assessed the complaints, we can confirm that they do not raise issues warranting further investigation. Our rules do not discriminate between scenes involving opposite sex and same-sex couples."
This decision was well-received by gay rights activists, but the decision to edit the scene out of the broadcast in Asia led gay marriage supporters to accuse BBC of being homophobic. LGBT political campaigner Peter Tatchell said, "The BBC should not bow to censorship demands from other countries. If these countries are bigoted and are not willing to show same-sex love, they have no right to demand that the BBC conforms to their standards of prejudice."
The BBC feed in Asia is transmitted from Singapore, which has very strict rules about the portrayal of any plotlines that serve to "justify" homosexuality. As a result, BBC's compliance committee insisted that the scene was edited out of the broadcast.
George Dixon, BBC Worldwide's global editorial director, said, "When preparing shows for international transmission, we occasionally have to make edits to ensure we're not breaking any local broadcasting rules."
Although the scene has been touted as a "lesbian kiss," many critics have denounced the decision to portray the kiss as an "oxygen transfer" from Madame Vastra to Jenny while the couple was trapped in a room with killer robots. They asserted that it would have been more progressive for the kiss to be an expression of their love for each other as opposed to sci-fi's answer to CPR, with The Mary Sue calling the scene "a huge cheat and a disappointment for fans of married couple, Madame Vastra and Jenny."