Viewers outraged over BBC’s new lesbian show
Fri, 15 Oct 2010
A controversial new BBC lesbian drama which showed two women having sex next to a corpse has left TV viewers appalled.
BBC 3’s Lip Service, which is aimed at viewers as young as 16 and began airing this week, has attracted complaints from scores of viewers.
And one of the show’s actresses has revealed that filming the controversial drama was like working on a porn set.
Laura Fraser, who plays a character called Cat, said: “I started to feel like I was making a porno film.
“It started to freak me out a bit. We were all freaked out. At the end of a day I was thinking ‘what am I doing for a living?’
“And then I was going home to my six-year-old daughter Lila which felt very weird.”
The BBC describes Lip Service as being a “bold” drama “about the sex lives and love affairs of twenty-something lesbians living in contemporary Glasgow”.
However, the show has attracted a number of complaints.
Alice Seddon, who contacted a national newspaper, said: “I was shocked and horrified. It was so off-putting I switched off.”
Another viewer, commenting on an internet forum, described the funeral parlour sex scene as “stomach churning”.
Harriet Braun, the show’s creator, spoke to BBC’s Newsbeat and claimed that the show is as realistic as possible.
She said: “It was important to me that the lesbian characters came across as authentic to a lesbian audience. I wanted it to reflect real life.”
The first episode of Lip Service aired on Tuesday night and was watched by around 580,000 people.
Earlier this month a new report commissioned by the BBC said that homosexuals and bisexuals should be portrayed more frequently and more authentically by the broadcaster.
However, the report also revealed that almost one in five viewers is either “uncomfortable” or “very uncomfortable” with homosexual scenes.
The official report, entitled Portrayal of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People on the BBC, recommended that the corporation stop portraying stereotypes of homosexuals.
However, according to the broadcaster’s own report more homosexual and bisexual viewers actually thought that the corporation’s portrayal of homosexuals was “realistic” rather than “stereotypical”.
The report also showed that two thirds of viewers would be uncomfortable with watching a sex scene between two men before the 9pm watershed, and almost half said that they would rather not see two men kiss.
Even after the watershed more than one in five viewers, some 21 per cent, said they were uncomfortable with seeing two men holding hands.
The report followed official statistics which showed that just one per cent of the population were homosexuals, and just 0.5 per cent of the population were bisexuals.