Home & Away cuts same-sex kiss

A same-sex kiss between Home & Away‘s Alex (Zoe Ventoura) and Willow (Sarah Roberts) was cut from Australian broadcasting, but screened in New Zealand, which Seven blames on “human error.”

A close relationship between the two characters has been developing in recent months and has been praised by LGBT fans of the show.

However after one episode aired in November some New Zealand viewers drew attention to key differences from the Australian edition.

The NZ scene continued for another 40 seconds after the Aussie version.

Seven released a statement saying, “Unfortunately due to human error, the two episodes that aired in Australia were not the final versions.

“As with any television show, numerous changes are made throughout the post production process all the way up until final broadcast.

“7Plus has been updated to reflect the final versions of these episodes.”

YouTuber Alex Shillington says there have been other instances of subtle cuts which diminish the intimacy of the relationship.

In another scene shown in Australia, Willow gives a long and emotional speech to her girlfriend and the scene ends before Alex reacts. In the New Zealand version, the scene continues for another 40 seconds with Alex kissing Willow and the pair planning a trip away.

A third scene has a line cut from it where the character Alex tells her girlfriend she did not expect to meet her when she took up a job as a doctor in Summer Bay.

“That edited version really downplays their relationship,” Shillington said.

“It kind of feels like they prepared two different versions, so they had a version they could pull the plug on that couple if it didn’t go well, but they got a good reaction from the audience.”

Since the introduction of Ventoura’s character Home & Away has actually been more relaxed with her same-sex identity than the show’s dreadful track record in this area.

Historically the Summer Bay soap has a notoriously bad record on LGBT, most notably when network execs order a 2009 kiss be watered down between Charlie (Esther Anderson) and Joey (Kate Bell) before ever being broadcast, after newspapers whipped it up into a media frenzy.

It took almost a decade before gay characters stepped back into the soap. In 2018 a same-sex teen kiss between Ty (Darius Williams) and his friend Ryder (Lukas Radovich) passed without incident.

Meanwhile Neighbours has embraced rainbow characters gay and transgender, with gay weddings and progressive storylines for sustained characters. Even Dance Academy had same-sex kisses in 2010 on ABC3.

TV Historian Andrew Mercado told TV Tonight, ““I would be very disappointed if Seven is filming two different versions of gay scenes. Especially given how long it has taken them to introduce a regular gay character. And let’s not forget their past ugly history of censoring gay moments like this.

“How does Australia, which screens the show at 7pm, get a ‘tamer’ non-kiss version, while New Zealand, screening it in an earlier timeslot, is OK with a gay kiss?”

Source: ABC

30 Comments:

  1. Cannot show a same sex kiss ……but the cop killed Bellas dad and hides the body and that is all good to be seen …..I wonder and 12 months on still has not been caught yet

  2. Well it probably was human error. The human error of someone in management ( they make it sound like it was an editing mistake ) making a wrong decision here, and ordering that the kiss scene be cut so as not to frighten the religious / regional viewers.
    They don’t call Seven the Roast Chicken Network for nothing…perhaps it should be simply the Chicken Network ?
    This loopy excuse is simply arse-covering A +

  3. Very disappointing and I don’t buy the pathetic excuse offered by the network.
    I gave up watching it last year because I got sick of it being shoved around the schedule with constant double and triple episodes.

    Neighbours is far more progressive and reflective of the real everyday Australian.
    And you can guarantee it is on at the same time slot every night!

  4. This is pretty disgraceful behaviour by Ch7. I stopped watching Home and Away when Big Brother first started, and there’s been nothing relatable to draw me back since. Conversely, I was never a Neighbours viewer but I now watch religiously since the lead to David and Aaron’s wedding.

  5. That was clearly edited. Sorry seven. That was more than human error.

    It’s no secret that a large majority of Home and Away viewers are homophobic, this has been known for decades. They have tried numerous times to have an LGBTQI character and it ends the same way. Loads of complaints from the close minded religious community.

    • Seven made a PG and G version, which is typical for a show that gets shown in different places around the world at different times so the broadcaster can show what is appropriate. Seven says that was error and there is no evidence or motive to do otherwise. It’s likely the playout hub getting the wrong file due to misnaming. There have been entire wrong episodes of shows have broadcast in this fashion, most recently by the ABC.

      There is no evidence seven did it intentionally nor no motive anymore. Sure there were complaints from churches about the gay seduction scene in and nudity in Number 96 in 1972 but for decades the networks and ACMA have just been filing them in the bin. Now days of course nudity is more tightly censored but homosexuality is encouraged. And the PG version with the kiss in would have more commercial appeal to the young audience Seven is targeting.

      This…

        • Well this week on This Morning we had an 80 year old discussing her sex life with her toyboy having had no action for 35 years, so think we can cope with a little kiss.

          youtu.be/5IA4v5ftCw4

          • I have no idea what classification rules / zones UK shows & genres fall under as Ofcom isn’t my concern. Maybe it is different in the arvo. In any case it’s only speculative by a reader as to what went on.

    • Only this? Does anyone laugh or smile in Summer Bay? I stopped watching in the late 90s, but all the promos are full of woe, sorrow and dramatics.

      • Haha yeah you’re right. I used to love Home & Away. My highschool era was back with Noah, Hayley, Nick, Kirsty, Jade etc. Wouldn’t miss an episode. The last time I really followed and enjoyed it was the Romeo, Indi, Ruby, Charlie, Dexter and April era. Since then I’ve lost interest since it’s all about kidnapping and car crashes. They need to bring it back to what made it a loveable show with characters that weren’t running for their lives every night.

    • I wouldn’t say the network is homophobic per se. I know people who work there and even from a content point of view they had All Together Now in primetime with gay, drag, trans etc. And that’s just one example. But it looks like there are issues around Home & Away that are still not being sorted despite some progress. A disconnect….

      • I’ve heard from writers that there is a real desire for more diversity amongst the creative team, including the cast, but there’s been pushback from the network. So I’d say the problem is definitely the network more than the show itself.

  6. A kiss is a kiss is a kiss. When are Home and away going to drag themselves out of the 50’s. They need to watch Sex education and see whats happening these days.

  7. Not saying it happened this time, but it wouldn’t be the first time Kerry Stokes stepped in to stop a same sex kiss on Home and Away. Our media is run by the far right.

  8. I’ve been active watcher of Home and Away for many years and their lack of mainstream same sex characters is stupid and apauling. What are Channel Seven thinking of sensoring a same sex kiss scene between too females. Human error I beg to differ. Get with the times, maybe it will bring more viewers, instead of recycling the same boring plot lines again and again.

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