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Film and TV

Olly Alexander compares character’s AIDS-denial in Russell T Davies’ It’s a Sin to COVID conspiracies 

Lily Wakefield January 9, 2021
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Olly Alexander

Olly Alexander discussed his role in It's a Sin on The Graham Norton Show. (BBC)

Olly Alexander has compared between his character’s AIDS-denial in Russell T Davies’ new series It’s a Sin to COVID conspiracy theorists.

The new Channel 4 and HBO Max series from the iconic Queer as Folk and Cucumber creator takes us back to the beginning of the HIV and AIDS epidemic, and shines a light on many gay men’s early attitudes towards the crisis.

The series focuses on a group of three young gay men who are all affected by the 1980s AIDS crisis after moving to London and renting a flat together, which they call the Pink Palace. Davies has described the show as both a “sexy laugh” and a tribute to the victims of the AIDS epidemic.

Alexander, who stars in the show, has now reflected on his character’s thoughts on HIV/ AIDS, and the parallels between them and today’s COVID-deniers.

The singer turned actor plays main character Ritchie Tozer, a hopeful young actor from the Isle of Wight, is an AIDS-denier who spouts conspiracy theories about the emerging illness.

Olly Alexander biting his lip as a naked man holds him by the neck
Olly Alexander in Channel 4’s It’s a Sin. (Channel 4)

In one clip, Tozer says: “The whole thing is a pack of lies. Do you want to know the truth?

“You want to know what it really is? AIDS? It’s a racket, it’s a money-making scheme for drug companies.

“Do you seriously think there is an illness that only kills gay men? It can calculate that you’re gay and kill you, but only if you’re gay and no one else? Hmm.”

He adds: “What about bisexuals? Do they only sick every other day?”

Speaking on The Graham Norton Show on Friday (8 January), Alexander said: “I couldn’t believe it. We finished filming a year ago and then when the pandemic started happening, people were saying things and there were all these crazy rumours about where it came from, where is was ‘made’.

“My character was saying the same lines, and you know, this is a period show about the 80s! It blew my mind.

“It’s so interesting how history repeats itself like that, and how misinformation is so prevalent and is really a problem.”

It’s a Sin will be hitting TV screens on 22 January 2021 on Channel 4.

Related topics: Graham Norton, It's a Sin, Olly Alexander, russell t davies

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