By Arré Bench Oct. 08, 2020
A promotional video of Emmy-winning show Schitt’s Creek put out by Comedy Central in India caught the attention of co-creator and star Dany Levy. He wasn’t too pleased that a scene that showed two men kissing was cut out in a series that celebrated the “power of inclusivity”.
Canadian TV show Schitt’s Creek has had quite the year. At the 2020 Emmy’s, it picked up nine awards for its sixth and final season, more than any other comedy in history. As a result, it has gained immense popularity around the world, including back home in India.
A promotional video recently put out by Comedy Central India, urging Indians to watch the show, however, ended up catching the ire of the show’s co-creator and star Dan Levy on Wednesday. The actor took to Twitter to call the channel out for cutting out a scene that showed two men kissing from its 2019 promo.
You showed the kiss between two women, you showed the kiss between a woman and a man, then removed the kiss between two men? This is a show about the power of inclusivity. The censorship of gay intimacy is making a harmful statement against that message. #loveislove https://t.co/3ouNbuetq1
— dan levy (@danjlevy) October 6, 2020
He noted, much like many others on Twitter, that the scenes that showed men and women kissing were left untouched.
The snippet shared by Comedy Central India was excerpted from an episode in Season 5, “Housewarming”. In it, characters David Rose (played by Levy) and Ted (Dustin Milligan) shared a kiss during a game of “spin the bottle”. The decision to remove this kiss from the clip didn’t go down too well with Levy, who is a prominent LGBTQ rights activist.
— Comedy Central India (@ComedyCentralIn) March 19, 2019
“This show is about the power of inclusivity,” Levy explained on Twitter, using the hashtag “loveislove”. “The censorship of gay intimacy is making a harmful statement against that message.”
This call-out received a lot of support back home, as several Indians noted that the recent ruling legalising homosexuality in our country, clearly hadn’t done much to change the general attitude of people toward same-sex couples and relationships.
I am ashamed I ever did a show with @ComedyCentralIn
I can now confirm they used me as a token gay on their Sterling Reserve Comedy Project. I denounce this channel. I denounce their bullshit.
P.S – to add to this, the producers from CC India are grade-A molesters. https://t.co/uox9apTY26
— Navin Noronha 🌈🐼 (@HouseOfNoronha) October 8, 2020
— Shraddha (@shraddhaaa19) October 7, 2020
Hey comedy central India we can handle the kiss. We demand the kiss. Tired of this homophobic bullshit.
— QueenInTheNorth (@QueenInTheNor17) October 7, 2020
Comedy Central later defended itself in the statement, saying the kiss wasn’t cut out from the actual episode, but only the promotional post. “A lingering, close up and passionate kiss shown during child viewing hours on channels in India may lead to content-related issues regardless of whether the kiss was between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman or between man and man,” Huffington Post quoted a representative as saying.
The Emmy-winning actor criticized the TV network's decision to trim his smooch from a promotional clip as "censorship of gay intimacy." https://t.co/2p9kOA9T5V
— HuffPost Queer Voices (@huffpostqueer) October 7, 2020
But the fact that it only decided to cut out the scene in which two men kiss essentially ensured that this argument would find very few takers. Plus given our television channels’ enthusiasm for censoring words that don’t need censoring — swapping out the word “breast” for “chest”, for instance — doesn’t help matters.
It’s 2020, CC India, time to grow up. We can handle a kiss.