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Film and TV

CBBC airs another touching LGBT-inclusive scene just days after being flooded with complaints over same-sex kiss

Emma Powys Maurice August 5, 2020
CBBC

CBBC has reaffirmed its commitment to diversity with a beautiful coming out scene in Mystic (Screenshot: CBBC/Mystic)

Just days after CBBC received more than 100 complaints for airing a same-sex kiss, the children’s channel has shown a “beautiful” coming out scene on the teen drama Mystic.

Set in New Zealand, Mystic follows a group of “horse-mad teenagers” who must save their community from environmental disaster. Episode four sees Caleb (played by Joshua Tan) come out as gay to his best friend Issie.

In the emotional scene, London teen Issie (Macey Chipping) explains that she feels like she doesn’t fit in with her New Zealand friends. Caleb then reveals that he too feels like “an outsider” because he likes boys.

“I’ve been thinking about what you said earlier, about trusting us and you know, feeling like an outsider and stuff,” he says. “I do feel like that sometimes.”

Issie suggests that Caleb is just “trying to make her feel better for being the weird girl”, but he admits it’s more than that.

“I’m weird too,” he replies. “I’m gay… I think. No, I know I am.”

(Screenshot: CBBC/Mystic)

After briefly fumbling with an awkward joke, Issie comforts her friend. “Thank you for telling me. It must have been really hard,” she says.

“Being gay is… it’s like one little piece of who you are. A good piece. You know that, right? Take your time. No pressure.”

The “beautiful” scene was applauded for giving children a realistic representation of LGBT+ characters on screen.

CBBC hits back at homophobic criticism of same-sex Next Step kiss.

Viewers also praised the BBC for affirming its commitment to diversity in the wake of complaints about a same-sex kiss in another CBBC show, The Next Step.

Rejecting claims that the kiss was “inappropriate for the audience age”, the broadcaster said that “CBBC regularly portrays heterosexual young people dating, falling in love, and kissing, and it is an important way of showing children what respectful, kind and loving relationships look like”.

It continued: “This is an important part of our mission to make sure that every child feels like they belong, that they are safe, and that they can be who they want to be.

“We believe that the storyline, and the kiss, was handled with sensitivity and without sensationalism, following as it did the portrayal of Jude and Cleo’s developing relationship.”

It added that same-sex relationships had already featured in several other CBBC shows, including Jamie Johnson4 O Clock ClubDixie and Marrying Mum and Dad.

Contrary to what was reported in the press, The Next Step‘s same-sex kiss was far from the first on CBBC — that honour goes to Byker Grove, nearly 30 years ago.

More: BBC, CBBC, Mystic, same sex kiss, The Next Step

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