Comedy Central India came under fire from none other than ‘Schitt’s Creek’ co-creator Dan Levy this week, after the channel censored a kiss between two gay characters from one of the show’s promo clips.
The clip in question was tweeted by the channel in March 2019, and features a scene from the show in which David Milligan (Dan Levy), Ted Mullens (Dustin Milligan), Stevie Budd (Emily Hampshire) and Alexis Rose (Annie Murphy) play a game of spin the bottle. The promo included kisses between the two female characters, as well as between Ted and Alexis, but cut out the David and Ted kiss.
“You showed the kiss between two women, you showed the kiss between a woman and a man, then removed the kiss between two men?” tweeted Levy, over a year and a half after the clip was originally posted. “This is a show about the power of inclusivity. The censorship of gay intimacy is making a harmful statement against that message.”
He also clarified in his next tweet that he was only talking about Comedy Central’s Indian outpost, adding that “@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 that the episode was aired uncensored on Comedy Central India, but was edited for other networks to comply with daytime broadcasting rules. They also added that the kiss was removed from the promo because it was longer and more intimate than the other two, and not because it involved two men.
The tweet has now come under criticism from other LGBTQ voices, including media monitoring organisation GLAAD. “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,” they wrote on Twitter.