Dan Levy slams Comedy Central India for censoring a gay kiss in ‘Schitt’s Creek’
Dan Levy is done with Comedy Central India after the TV station removed a kiss between his character, David Rose, and Dustin Milligan’s Ted Mullens from a “Schitt’s Creek” clip.
In March 2019, Comedy Central India tweeted a scene from the show, which sees David, Ted, Stevie (Emily Hampshire), Patrick (Noah Reid) and Alexis (Annie Murphy) play spin the bottle. The promo includes kisses between Alexis and Stevie and Alexis and Ted, but cuts David and Ted’s smooch.
“You showed the kiss between two women, you showed the kiss between a woman and a man, then removed the kiss between two men?” Levy tweeted on Tuesday in belated response. “This is a show about the power of inclusivity. The censorship of gay intimacy is making a harmful statement against that message.
“I thought I made this pretty clear but for those who are confused, this is about a channel in India,” the “Schitt’s Creek” star and cocreator added in a follow-up tweet. "@ComedyCentral in America is not censoring the show. They have been lovely and respectful. Thank you for your time.”
A spokesperson for Comedy Central International told the Los Angeles Times Wednesday that the episode aired in its entirety on Comedy Central India, but the promo was edited for other Indian networks because of a code in the country that requires broadcasters to censor daytime content deemed inappropriate for children.
The rep added that David and Ted’s kiss was removed from the promo because it lasted longer, was more intimate and was filmed in closeup, as opposed to the other two, which were lighter pecks — and not because it was between two men. The rep said the same treatment would have been given to a similar kiss between a man and a woman.
During its six-season run, fans and critics alike have hailed the Canadian sitcom for its inclusivity and LGBTQ storylines. And this year, “Schitt’s Creek” won the GLAAD Media Award for comedy series after wrapping its final season, which saw David marry Patrick in a sweet series finale.
On Wednesday, GLAAD responded to Comedy Central India’s controversial tweet as well, writing, “Schitt’s Creek was designed by @danjlevy to be a place free from homophobia, so removing this kiss flies in the face of the show’s intent and what makes Schitt’s Creek so extraordinary.”
The hit PopTV program took home the coveted comedy series prize at last month’s virtual Emmy Awards, where “Schitt’s Creek” made history by sweeping the comedy bracket with additional wins for lead actress (Catherine O’Hara), lead actor (Eugene Levy), supporting actor (Dan Levy), supporting actress (Murphy), writing (Dan Levy) and directing (Dan Levy and Andrew Cividino).
“Our show at its core is about the transformational effects of love and acceptance — and that is something that we need more of now than we’ve ever needed before,” Dan Levy said while accepting the Emmy for comedy series.
“I just wanted to say for any of you who have not registered to vote, please do so, and then go out and vote because that is the only way that we are going to have some love and acceptance out there. Please do that. I’m so sorry for making this political, but I had to.”
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