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Killing Eve: Is the lesbian tension queerbaiting?

Amy Ashenden Scarlet Pestell June 21, 2019
Killing Eve: Tension grows between Eve and Villanelle (BBC America)

Killing Eve has been accused by fans of queerbaiting (BBC America)

BBC show Killing Eve, starring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, has been accused by some fans of queerbaiting.

Killing Eve follows Eve Polastri, an MI6 office worker played by Sandra Oh, who becomes obsessed with the search for an international assassin called Villanelle.

In the first season, Eve says to Villanelle, “I think about you all the time. I think about what you’re wearing, and what you’re doing, and who you’re doing it with. I think about the friends you have, I think about what you eat before you go to work, and what shampoo you have, and what happened in your family. I think about your eyes and your mouth, and what you feel when you kill someone, I think about what you have for breakfast. I just want to know everything.”

The second season, which aired first on BBC America in the US, includes a scene where Villanelle masturbates while talking to Eve through an earpiece.

Fans of the award-winning show were outraged after Sandra Oh suggested that the show is not queer.

Oh told Gay Times, “You guys are tricky because you want to make it into something… but it just isn’t.”

Is Killing Eve queerbaiting?

Killing Eve was also accused of queerbaiting by some fans who claim the show’s marketing suggested Eve and Villanelle are a couple.

Watch the video below to see PinkNews’ Abi and Vic discuss if they think Killing Eve is queer or queerbaiting:

Some fans have pointed out that recent Killing Eve billboard adverts included the slogans: “Has anyone seen my girlfriend?” and “Have you told your husband about us Eve?”

The show is based on a series of novels by Luke Jennings, called Codename Villanelle—the villain played by Comer, who has said her character resonated with LGBT+ audiences.

“What I’ve really picked up on is the connection that people have had with Villanelle’s sexuality,” Comer said to Entertainment Weekly.

“[She has] really resonated with the LGBT community… You can have these relationships with women, this fascination, this compulsiveness to know this, and I don’t think that I’ve ever really seen that explored on television.”

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