It’s a Sin icon Lydia West weighs in on pearl-clutching backlash that followed show’s epic sex scenes

It's a Sin star Lydia West as Jill Baxter

It’s a Sin star Lydia West has addressed the pearl-clutching backlash over gay sex scenes in the acclaimed drama.

A tabloid report on so-called viewer “shock” over a scene of Olly Alexander‘s character, Ritchie Tozer, having sex with two men sparked heaving discussions around how the press covers queer sex.

Lydia West, who played spirited AIDS activist Jill Baxter in It’s a Sin, told the Make It Reign podcast that the mock outrage that followed shows that there is “so much work to be done.”

“What’s interesting is that sex at the time was so liberating and so fun and people were living their truth, having sex and having a great time,” the 27-year-old said.

“Then suddenly the vocabulary that was associated with sex was AIDS and that carried on through the ’90s and into the ’00s.

“I think it just shows just how much work there is still to do on banishing homophobia, transphobia, biphobia.

“There’s still just so much work to be done. That is very much the jobs of allies to do.”

The Sun responds to backlash over clumsy take on It's a Sin sex scenes

Olly Alexander in Channel 4’s It’s a Sin. (Channel 4)

The threesome scene, as much as it came to be celebrated by fans for its candid portray of queer sex, also became entangled in a debate over how the press handles queer sexuality.

A viral tweet offset a pair of The Sun headlines that covered viewer responses to sex scenes in It’s a Sin and Bridgerton – the former “shocking”, the latter “racy”. The Sun later amended its headline and admitted it had missed the mark.

It’s a Sin‘s director Peter Hoar even waded into the ensuing controversy, slamming the “appalling” coverage.

“I’m not going to worry about how people feel about the sex because this is our sex, and this is the way it is,” Hoar explained in a Digital Spy interview.

“How can you show the story of men having a life they loved, and dying from it, if you don’t show that sex?”