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BBC Flooded With Complaints After CBBC Airs Teenage Same-Sex Kiss

BBC Flooded With Complaints After CBBC Airs Teenage Same-Sex Kiss

The BBC has received over 100 complaints after CBBC screened a same sex kiss.

The kiss formed part of Canadian teen drama series The Next Step, which follows the lives of members of a dance studio troupe.

During the first episode, teenage girls Jude (Molly Sanders) and Cleo (Dani Verago) perform a routine to Brave by Shane Harte, when it became apparent that their feelings for each other go beyond friendship.

The scene formed part of Canadian teen drama series 'The Next Step' (Credit: CBBC)
The scene formed part of Canadian teen drama series 'The Next Step' (Credit: CBBC)
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While many viewers heaped praise on CBBC for screening the kiss, others took issue with the scene, with the channel reportedly receiving over 100 complaints from viewers.

Erm, friendly reminder that it's 2020, people!

The BBC responded to the complaints in a statement posted to its website.

The statement reads: "'We have received complaints about a storyline involving a same-sex kiss.

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"The decision to include this moment, as part of a longer storyline throughout series 7 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 LGBTQ+ young people."

The BBC responded to the complaints in a statement posted to its website (Credit: CBBC)
The BBC responded to the complaints in a statement posted to its website (Credit: CBBC)

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The BBC went on to say that it was committed to reflecting "all areas of children's lives" and that the scene was "handled with sensitivity".

The channel continued: "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.

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"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."

Broadcasters added that the kiss scene was just one moment within a "myriad of voices and experiences" across its programming.

The statement went on: "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.

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"At Children's BBC, we are proud to reflect all areas of children's lives across our factual and fictional output. Same-sex relationships have already featured in other CBBC shows such as Jamie Johnson, 4 O Clock Club, Dixie and Marrying Mum and Dad, and the first same-sex kiss on CBBC was in fact in Byker Grove, many years ago.

"This moment in The Next Step is merely one story among a myriad of voices and experiences across our output."

We couldn't have put it better ourselves. Hats off to CBBC, we say.

Featured Image Credit: CBBC

Topics: TV and Film, BBC, TV News, TV Entertainment

Mary-Jane Wiltsher

Mary-Jane Wiltsher is a freelance lifestyle and culture journalist. Elsewhere she writes for Stylist, Euronews, PHOENIX and What We Seee.