On March 15, 2011, the hit Fox show Glee marked a milestone in television history by showing the much-awaited kiss between gay characters Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Darren Criss (Blaine). But Filipinos were in for a disappointment.
Solar Entertainment, which broadcasts Glee in the Philippines through channels ETC and Jack TV, chose to edit this scene out. The company has done it before and will do it again, perpetuating a cycle of homophobia and discrimination against LGBTs in the Philippines.
In response to protests, ETC vowed on March 30 to air a "sanitized" version of the kiss. The channel shifted blame on the country's Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), which had previously advised TV networks against showing kissing scenes between persons of the same sex.
Making good on their promise, ETC began airing a "sanitized" version of the kissing scene in April. But it was many seconds shorter than the original.
Freedom-loving people of the Philippines will not settle for "sanitized" kisses. Love is not dirty. MTRCB and Solar Entertainment, we demand to see the kiss in full.
- Solar Entertainment
- RPN 9
In 1965, A Patch of Blue made history for depicting an interracial love affair between a black man and a white woman, portrayed by Sidney Poitier and Elizabeth Hartman. But a pivotal scene showing the couple kissing was cut from the film when it was screened in some parts of the US. The cutting has since been regarded as a footprint of racism, and the film is now available in its entirety on DVD.
I am saddened and disappointed a parallel situation exists in the Philippines today. Both ETC and Jack TV broadcast the March 15, 2011 episode of the hit Fox series Glee—titled “Original “Song”—without a very important scene. The said scene depicted two men, portrayed by Darren Criss (aka Blaine) and Chris Colfer (aka Kurt), in an intimate situation. In other words, the scene showed the lips of two men touching, and you removed it from your Glee telecasts.
Censorship is done to excise the most objectionable and offensive parts from broadcast material. But is a same-sex kiss really that offensive? Who else should this scene offend but the sensibilities of homophobes, whose hateful attitudes need to change yesterday? Who else should this scene offend but the religious right and the blind faithful who use God as an excuse to disadvantage fellow humans, i.e. lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT)?
By cutting this scene, you are sending a strong message to viewers that gays should be “censored” from Philippine society; that being gay should be cut from scenes of real life; and that homosexual acts, otherwise genetic and hereditary, should not be condoned. If you continue this approach to broadcasting, you would be perpetuating a culture of discrimination and denigration against the LGBT community in the Philippines.
This is all the more outrageous because the demographic of Glee is often a member of the LGBT community. It is also ironic because the makers of this show are actively working towards equal rights for LGBT members—a progress you may be setting back by establishing these discriminatory standards of censorship.
Even without the LGBT backlash, you have already hurt the audience share of your Glee telecasts. Hundreds of people in the Philippines are watching Glee on materials downloaded from the Internet; their ranks could yet increase. By making such poor calls in censorship, you are shortchanging your viewers and making them realize where the clearer, faster, and above all, more intact telecasts of Glee could be found.
I ask then that you rerun the said episode of Glee in its entirety, including the much-awaited “Klaine” kiss. Please do not wait for decades until your decision to censor this scene would be branded as a festering relic of homophobia.
I wish you all the best!
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