The BBC have not only refused to back down, but have released a strong statement of support after the teen drama series The Next Step received over 100 complaints for featuring a kissing scene between two young women.
In a scene from the Canadian show set in a dance studio, two of the dancers realise they are more than friends and share a kiss. While many viewers praised the portrayal, there were the usual complaints from people who felt that showing same-sex scenes were inappropriate.
In a refreshing response, the UK station refuted complaints that the scene was inappropriate and further announced their support of LGBT+ storylines. The statement read:
“The decision to include this moment, as part of a longer storyline throughout series seven which has been tracking the development of a romantic relationship between two of the characters, Jude and Cleo, was taken very carefully and with much consideration, and came about after CBBC and Boatrocker (the production company who make the show) acknowledged that the series could and should do more to reflect the lives of LGBT+ young people.
“This is an important part of our mission to make sure that every child feels like they belong, that they are safe, and that they can be who they want to be. We believe that the storyline, and the kiss, was handled with sensitivity and without sensationalism, following as it did the portrayal of Jude and Cleo’s developing relationship and I’m afraid we do not agree that it was inappropriate for the audience age – CBBC regularly portrays heterosexual young people dating, falling in love, and kissing, and it is an important way of showing children what respectful, kind and loving relationships look like.
“At Children’s BBC, we are proud to reflect all areas of children’s lives across our factual and fictional output.”
Dancers from the BBC teen drama The Next Step are due to appear in performance in the Olympia Theatre this November.
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