BBC cuts Doctor Who lesbian kiss from Asian broadcasts

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The BBC cut a scene containing a lesbian kiss out of Doctor Who’s Asian broadcasts, according to reports.

In last Saturday’s episode of the sci-fi show, Silurian lizard-woman Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh) locked lips with her human wife Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart) – the first time they have done so on screen.

The episode featured clockwork droids who sense life forms by their breath, with Jenny attempting to hold her breath to avoid them.

When she struggled to breathe, however, Madame Vastra helped her survive by sharing her own oxygen.

However, the scenes were edited out of the version of the show broadcast on the BBC Entertainment channel in several Asian countries.

The censored version, excluding the kiss, was shown in Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

The newspaper reports that the scene was cut by a BBC compliance team to conform to ‘broadcast regulations’ across the region.

A BBC spokesperson told Pink News: “In order to comply with broadcast regulations in Asia where our BBC Entertainment channel airs, BBC Worldwide made a brief edit to the first episode of Doctor Who Series 8, but did so without detracting from the storyline.”

As there is only one edit of the show for the entire Asian region, it was edited to comply with the MDA broadcast code in Singapore.

The code states: “Information, themes or subplots on lifestyles such as homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexualism, transsexualism, transvestism, paedophilia and incest should be treated with utmost caution.

“Their treatment should not in any way promote, justify or glamorise such lifestyles.

“Explicit dialogue or information concerning the above topics should not be broadcast.”

Betty Grisoni, of LGBT group Les Peches, said: “This obvious case of censorship is outrageous and viewers in Asia have been left out of the buzz created by the kiss among Doctor Who fans around the world.

“The story line of the show has included this lesbian couple for over three years now without any censorship and the only time that they show a physical sign of affection, which is already outrageous in itself, it is censored.

“Including LGBT couples in a TV programme is becoming incredibly popular even in Asia, which is in itself a good thing.

“However, these couples need to be portrayed as equally as heterosexual couples would, public display of affection included.

“This is not about tolerance, it is about equality.”

In the UK, broadcast regulator Ofcom said it would not be investigating the kiss, after 6 people complained about it.