BBC hits back at complaints over same-sex kiss on CBBC show The Next Step

Joe Anderton
·3-min read
Photo credit: CBBC
Photo credit: CBBC

From Digital Spy

Last month, CBBC aired a same-sex kiss in its show The Next Step, receiving praise from viewers for providing representation to LGBTQ+ youth and normalising gay relationships.

Unfortunately, not everyone responded well to the kiss, with the broadcaster receiving multiple complaints about the moment.

In response, the BBC has dismissed these complaints, stating that reflecting different kinds of people on screen can only be a good thing.

Photo credit: CBBC
Photo credit: CBBC

Related: 12 LGBTQ+ TV shows for 2020, including Boys, Love Victor and The Walking Dead: World Beyond

It read: "The decision to include this moment, as part of a longer storyline throughout series 7 which has been tracking the development of a romantic relationship between two of the characters, Jude and Cleo, was taken very carefully and with much consideration, and came about after CBBC and Boat Rocker (the production company who make the show) acknowledged that the series could and should do more to reflect the lives of LGBTQ+ young people.

"This is an important part of our mission to make sure that every child feels like they belong, that they are safe, and that they can be who they want to be.

"We believe that the storyline, and the kiss, was handled with sensitivity and without sensationalism, following as it did the portrayal of Jude and Cleo's developing relationship and I'm afraid we do not agree that it was inappropriate for the audience age

"CBBC regularly portrays heterosexual young people dating, falling in love, and kissing, and it is an important way of showing children what respectful, kind and loving relationships look like."

Photo credit: CBBC
Photo credit: CBBC

Related: EastEnders star Tony Clay reveals real-life impact of Callum Highway's sexuality

The response went on: "At Children's BBC, we are proud to reflect all areas of children’s lives across our factual and fictional output.

"Same-sex relationships have already featured in other CBBC shows such as Jamie Johnson, 4 O'Clock Club, Dixie and Marrying Mum and Dad, and the first same-sex kiss on CBBC was in fact in Byker Grove, many years ago. This moment in The Next Step is merely one story among a myriad of voices and experiences across our output."

Elsewhere, there was almost got some big-screen LGBTQ+ representation in a major kids' film of the early 2000s, as James Gunn recently revealed that he tried to make Velma a lesbian in the live-action Scooby-Doo! movies, but the studio didn't agree.

Digital Spy has launched its first-ever digital magazine with exclusive features, interviews, and videos. Access this edition with a 1-month free trial, only on Apple News+.

Interested in Digital Spy's weekly newsletter? Sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox.

You Might Also Like