A scene from a Greek TV show that showed on Cyprus was censored to prevent viewers from seeing two gay men kiss each other, drawing fierce criticism from activists.
It was in the third season of the show Agries Melisses, with a report that Cypriot channel Ant1 removed the scene of the men bussing each other, with officials from the station saying they acted in accordance with an ambiguous law.
“Scenes are judged based on their context and in accordance with the time they are broadcast, age rating and taking into consideration the logic of the average person in the country. For the specific case, the kiss, there are no provisions or general directions or mention in the legislation,” a representative of the state broadcasting authority told Cyprus Mail.
The Australian site Star Observer, which reports on issues for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTIQ) community said the station had no problem showing violence, however.
That showed ne of the two men half-naked, tied, beaten and covered in blood in a warehouse, tortured by the father of his partner who was shocked to learn his son had a relationship with man.
Actors Dimitris Tsiklis and Giorgos Korobilis play the gay couple in the series.
Cyprus is one of the few European Union countries where same-sex couples cannot marry, which also is the case in Greece
Rights activists in Cyprus have been vocal about the fact that the nation is “generally behind when it comes to issues relating to LGBTQI+ issues,” the report also added.
“What happened does not put us in a good light. We say that steps are being taken forward, but anything backwards overshadows the efforts to move forward,” Fotis Fotiou, the creator of a social media group for LGBTAQI+ rights, told The Cyprus Mail.
Ant1 also changed the air time of the Greek drama series from 9pm to 10.30 p.m. Critics said it wasn’t a coincidence. “We are not as forward as we think we are because everything is swept under the carpet,” Fotiou added.