Mrs Brown's Boys' Brendan O'Carroll refused Russian TV deal over plans to edit out gay character
Mrs Brown’s Boys’ creator, Brendan O’Carroll, has revealed that he turned down a big-money deal from a Russian broadcaster after he learned that they will edit out the gay character from his show.
The 62-year-old star was offered an international licensing deal for the hit BBC One series, however, the Russian channel did not want to include Agnes Brown’s third son, Rory, because he is gay.
Speaking on on RTE Radio 1, Brendan explained: “They didn’t want any gay, Russia in particular.
“It was a nice little deal, it’s a big country so the fee you’d charge for the licensing is audience-related, so it’s a big audience and it would have been a nice fee.
“But no gay, absolutely no gay. So I said ‘no gay, no show’. And that was it.”
In recent years, Russia has faced growing criticism for the country’s conservative stance on homosexuality, with the European Court of Human Rights blasting Russia’s “gay propaganda” law in June of this year, ruling that it is discriminatory and encourages homophobia.
The law, which was adopted in 2013, banned the “promotion of homosexuality” among people under 18, with private individuals or business and schools being fined if they were deemed to violate the law.
The Strasbourg judges said that it “reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia”, with anti-gay prejudice still rife across Russia, even though homosexuality was decriminalised in 1993.
Brendan went on to admit that Russia isn’t the first country to take issue with Rory, adding that Romania threatened to cut the character out but eventually agreed to include him.
The comic continued: “What they’ve done is, the Rory character is the Rory character and he’s still gay, but they never mention that he’s gay. But it’s still Rory.”
Earlier this year, the actor who plays Rory on the BBC’s original version of the show, Rory Cowan, revealed that he had handed in his notice, explaining: “I hadn’t been happy working for the Mrs Brown’s Boys company for the last 18 months to two years.
“I feel that 26 years is enough so I decided it was time to go. I told Brendan on June 16 about my decision to leave. That’s when I handed in my notice.”
However, the character will remain on the show, with the replacement actor due to be revealed in the upcoming Christmas specials.
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