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Actors air their ire as Home and Away gets coy on gay kissing

Home and Away appears to have cut another kiss involving the show’s lesbian couple, as the actors involved address the issue publicly for the first time.

Feb 04, 2020, updated Feb 12, 2020
This scene was shown on Home and Away last week, without the characters kissing. (Supplied: Matrix Media Group)

This scene was shown on Home and Away last week, without the characters kissing. (Supplied: Matrix Media Group)

All the edited scenes involve the characters Alex and Willow, who started dating on the show last year.

Late last year, two kisses were cut from scenes shown on Australian television but were screened in New Zealand.

Channel 7 told the ABC last week it blamed “human error” for the wrong version of two episodes going to air in Australia last year.

“As with any television show, numerous changes are made throughout the post-production process all the way up until final broadcast,” it said.

Pictures taken by photography agency Matrix Media Group of the show being filmed, appear to show another scene where a kiss was filmed but has been edited out.

One photo from the photography agency shows a scene where the characters Alex and Willow kiss in a park, as another character watches on.

A scene with all three characters in the same costumes and at the same location went to air last week in Australia, but Alex and Willow did not kiss.

The same episode is yet to be shown in New Zealand.

Channel Seven was again contacted for comment and specifically asked if a kiss was cut from that scene.

The network said it had no further update.

Alex Shillington covers gay pop culture on social media and was one of the first people to report on the different scenes that went to air last year.

She said she was disappointed to see the difference between the photo taken of Thursday night’s episode being filmed, and what went to air.

She said fans were still hurt by the cuts made to last year’s scenes.

Stars address issue online

Yesterday, actors Zoe Ventoura and Sarah Roberts, who play Alex and Willow, both released similar statements on Twitter addressed to fans of the couple.

They both wrote, “please know that every scene was written, performed and shot with the utmost love and respect for the characters, the relationship and the community”.

Ventoura’s husband, former Neighbours actor Daniel MacPherson, went further, retweeting posts that were critical of the cuts.

“Thoughts tonight with fans of this show left feeling that the demonstration of their love or affection isn’t worthy of broadcast,” he wrote on Twitter last week.

He also retweeted a fan’s comments that explained why she was hurt by the scenes being edited.

The actor added: “What a shame for viewers so excited to see themselves represented in a wonderful relationship on TV”.

Fans of the show have expressed their support for Ventoura and Roberts on social media, widely praising their personal performances.

Former Home and Away actor speaks about cuts

Ross Newton, who played Greg Marshall on the show between 1991-1993 and in 2000, said he was disappointed to see the scenes cut in Australia.

The gay actor said in the 1990s it was difficult for LGBTQ actors right across the television industry to express their sexuality, and at the time he was explicitly told by a Home and Away producer to hide his sexuality.

Newton said the fact Home and Away now has a lesbian couple does show the progress that has been made.

“We have come along in leaps and bounds in some ways, but obviously it is still being censored, so what does that say?” he asked.

“Is it that we are still scared to tell the whole truth?”

The former actor said he would like to see gay couples portrayed in honestn and loving relationships on television.

“By educating people and saying this representation of a gay couple is actually loving and they do care about each other and they do kiss, then that is speaking volumes,” he said.

-ABC / Elise Kinsella

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