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Film and TV

Strictly’s history-making same-sex dance routine sparked nearly 200 complaints because apparently we’re still in the dark ages

Lily Wakefield November 21, 2019
Johannes Radebe (L) and Graziano di Prim became the first same-sex duo to dance on Strictly Come Dancing. (Screenshot via Twitter)

Johannes Radebe (L) and Graziano di Prim became the first same-sex duo to dance on Strictly Come Dancing. (Screenshot via Twitter)

Strictly Come Dancing made history with a beautiful same-sex dance routine this month, bringing fans and judges to tears, yet almost 200 people still found the time to complain about it.

Best friends Johannes Radebe and Graziano di Prima danced to Emeli Sande’s ‘Shine’ on November 3, becoming the first same-sex pair to perform a dance together on the show.

Radebe previously told HELLO! Magazine: “I’ve never felt so liberated. For the first time in my life, I feel accepted for who I am. That says so much about the people of this country.

“To be able to dance with a friend I respect and adore is joyous. There’s bromance galore between us, but there were no male and female roles, just free movement. It was beautiful, classy and elegant.”

But some viewers did not feel as “joyous” about the dance as Radebe. According to data released by the BBC every two weeks, the “main issue” in the 189 complaints received was listed as “offensive to feature two men dancing as a pair”.

To put this in context, and further underscore the fact that some people have too much time, during the same two-week period the BBC received 135 complaints in response to Countryfile Autumn Diaries because viewers felt there was a “bias against motorbikes in the Lake District”.

The broadcaster said in response the to Strictly complaints: “Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and is proud to have been able to facilitate the dance between Johannes and Graziano during the Professionals’ dance. They are dancers first and foremost, and their sex had no bearing on their routine.”

Earlier this month, Strictly received even more backlash over an innocuous lesbian joke between Claudia Winkleman and her co-presenter Tess Daly that viewers thought was “smutty” and “inappropriate”.

When the pair introduced Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice, a clip of their song ‘I Just Want to Make Love to You’ was played.

Winkleman declared that she loved the song and asked what it was, the Manchester Evening News reported.

“‘I Just Want to Make Love to You’,” Daly replied.

Winkleman replied: “Well the feeling’s mutual, obviously we’re sharing a room in Blackpool. But what’s the song called?”

More: BBC, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe, same-sex dance routine, Strictly Come Dancing

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