Channel Nine may have cast two same-sex contestants in Australia’s Perfect Couple, but it got cold feet when it came to including a same-sex kiss in the first episode.
Instead the moment ended up on the cutting room floor.
As part of the first challenge in the reality contest, the men were blindfolded and left to identify their partner as all the ladies pecked them discreetly on the cheek.
To keep things fair, a blindfolded Dan was pecked on the cheek by a bunch of male models and his partner Robbie. Like the heterosexual couples, the kisses were quick and platonic as part of a frivolous game.
But when Nine aired the episode, the scenes with Dan and the male models did not appear.
Instead viewers returned from a commercial break to find the game over.
Reader Russell told TV Tonight: “Watched the first segment, ended with a mighty quick flash of the male models being asked to kiss the guy on the cheek and then an ad break. Expecting to see the boys turn after the break and they had decided to go straight to the results!? Funny how they showed each woman kissing each man on the cheek. But it was odd when reading out the results, they went to the gay couple and said he was person number two, but the audience had no idea because they did not show the gay kisses. Based on this, I had to switch off – if you are going to include a gay couple on a show like this, don’t skim over them, treat them as equally as every other couple on the show. Surely a kiss on the cheek is not that offensive to most viewers, geez. I’ve seen worse on either Footy Show.”
On Nine’s own website, Ed from Melbourne said: “I find it absurd that Channel Nine decided to hack out the “boy kisses” (Robbie and Dan) section of the cheek kissing challenge, when it was immediately followed by a promo for The Ugly Truth, featuring Katherine Heigl doing oral…. things to a hotdog. That’s screwed up. A couple of cheek kisses between boys – BIG NO. Girl performs *** on a hotdog – YES. Get real, Nine. So much for trying to shed the Cardigan Network image…”
A spokesperson from Nine told TV Tonight, “…programs are sometimes tweaked and edited prior to screening for a variety of reasons (eg: to meet time constraints). A few edits were made to what was on the preview disc of Perfect Couple.”
Some readers have also noted barely any inclusion of Robbie and Dan in on-air promos for the show. This week Nine has promos including senior couples talking about romance and marriage, despite the fact none appear in episode two. The show has taken some criticism for casting a predominantly youthful cast.
The excision of a same-sex kiss, which in this case was only a peck on the cheek, follows volatile headlines over a same-sex kiss on Home and Away this year, including claims it aired an edited version.