BBC receives complaints about same-sex kiss in youth drama
Cleo played by Danielle Verayo and Jude played by Molly Saunders
The BBC received complaints after sending a same-sex kiss in a drama aimed at youth audiences.
The kiss included two characters, Jude and Cleo, in the CBBC drama The Next Step, which was filmed by the boat rocker production company.
The scene appeared in Season 7 of the Canadian Mockumentary in an episode called "Room Service". The popular show follows the life of the A-Troupe dancers who train in The Next Step Dance Studio.
The BBC did not disclose how many complaints it had received, but made a detailed statement on its website to defend the scene, which it dismissed as inappropriate for a young audience.
"The decision to include this moment as part of a longer storyline in Series 7, which follows the development of a romantic relationship between two of the characters, Jude and Cleo, was made very carefully and with care, and came about afterwards CBBC and Boatrocker (die Production company that does the show) acknowledged that the show could and should do more to reflect the lives of LGBTQ + teenagers, "the BBC said.
"This is an important part of our mission to ensure that every child feels belonging, that they are safe and that they can be who they want to be.
"We believe that the plot and the kiss have been handled with sensitivity and without sensation, as has the representation of the developing relationship of Jude & Cleo, and I'm afraid we don't agree that this is for the age of the audience – CBBC – Inappropriately portraying heterosexual young people who meet, fall in love, and kiss, and it is an important way to show children what respectful, friendly, and loving relationships look like. "
Metro.co.uk reported that the BBC will have received "more than 100" complaints to trigger such a statement.
The BBC has steadily increased the number of children's shows with same-sex relationships. Jamie Johnson, 4 O Clock Club, Dixie and Marrying Mum and Dad have all shown same-sex relationships.
The first same-sex kiss to appear on a CBBC show was in the 1994 children's drama Byker Grove.