Wow! Comedy Central India Censors Same-Sex Kiss From A Show About Inclusivity
Daniel Levy, creator and protagonist of the highly acclaimed Canadian sitcom Schitt’s Creek, called out Comedy Central India for censoring a same-sex kiss on their channel. On October 6, sharing a clip from the series posted by the channel’s official Twitter handle in March 2019, Levy pointed out that among the many kisses in that scene, only the one between two men had been cut out. The choice to remove a gay kiss from a show about “inclusivity” was “making a harmful statement”, he said. The shot in question showed a kiss between David Rose (Levy) and Ted Mullens (Dustin Milligan).
Levy’s tweet left fans angered towards Comedy Central International, leading him to specify in a second tweet that “this is about a channel in India” and that CC America has “been lovely and respectful”. I find this incident personally affronting on many fronts: as a Schitt’s Creek superfan, Daniel Levy fangirl, and LGBTQ+ ally. To see that this is the homophobic perspective towards the queer community India is putting out in the world, even in 2020, is very embarrassing.
Here is the thread of Levy’s tweets:
I thought I made this pretty clear but for those who are confused, this is about a channel in India. @ComedyCentral in America is not censoring the show. They have been lovely and respectful. Thank you for your time. ✌🏼🙃
— dan levy (@danjlevy) October 6, 2020
Embarrassing Moment For India
Schitt’s Creek‘s recent historic clean sweep of the comedy category awards at the Emmy’s showed the world that the sitcom’s message of “power of inclusivity”, as Levy mentioned, has been received positively across the board and among critics. The thundering success it received is proof that love trumps everything, whichever form or shape it comes in. Moreover, Daniel Levy who plays David’s bisexual character on the show, and has also been open about his sexual orientation in real life, upon finding that his identity is being invalidated in India obviously appears pained.
It’s been two years since the landmark Supreme Court judgment of Section 377 that decriminalised same-sex relations between consenting adults in India. But a legal redefinition has not changed much. A lot still holds back the queer community in terms of labels, taboos, exclusion, and general insensitivity. And Comedy Central India has evidently played a hand in that narrative.
A lot of censorship still abounds on even the other sitcoms Comedy Central India airs, not just Schitt’s Creek. As viewers who enjoy these sitcoms and pledge inclusivity, we mustn’t have waited for an international personality (Levy) to point out that a problematic precedent was being fuelled on our channels. But now that he has, CC India should take cognisance of it on priority and act upon change.
Image Credit: Netflix
Views expressed are the author’s own.