Protesters are planning to pucker up in a mass 'kiss-off' at Melbourne's Federation Square tonight to rally against Channel Seven's decision to censor a lesbian kiss on teen soap Home and Away .
Hundreds of people are expected to gather as the soap airs at 7pm to demonstrate against the move by the station to reportedly cut scenes from a lesbian storyline.
Policewoman Charlie Buckton, played by actor Esther Anderson, and deckhand Joey Collins, played by Katie Bell, were due to kiss on tonight's episode.
But according to News Limited reports, some intimate close-up shots were cut following complaints from nutter groups and viewers.
A Melbourne lawyer said word of tonight's gathering for straight and gay people was spreading through text messages and emails. She said she believed a minority of conservative voices were being given an undue level of influence over what was
being screened: In this case the conservative minority has been able to sway public opinion to the detriment of the majorit y.
Channel Seven has claimed that a lesbian kiss on the soap Home & Away has not been censored, despite reports to the contrary.
The drama had received complaints from Christian groups and seen Australian ratings drop as a result of its lesbian storyline.
Policewoman Charlie Buckton, played by actress Esther Anderson is depicted falling in love with Joey Collins, played by Kate Bell.
Speaking to Australian news provider Same Same, Bevan Lee, head of creative drama and development at Channel Seven, said an artistic decision had been made to show the kiss as warm and intimate, rather than "lusty" as this was felt to
be more natural to the story line.
He explained: The kiss, as played, was two part. A very gentle, loving, sensual, tender kiss from which the two women pull back and then there’s another, more lusty follow up.
There was a lot of discussion, artistic and not censorish, about where to finish the scene. We finally settled on the conclusion of the warmer, intimate kiss and not the more lusty follow through because we felt it was more in keeping with
Charlie getting there by degrees rather than one kiss making her comfortable straight away with the full on pash.
I think the version that airs is much truer to the tone of the build up to the moment over the last few weeks. The decision taken was artistic and had nothing to do with running from the conservative right. This work was done before the article
about the lesbian story and conservative reaction to it even broke.
He added that he was saddened as a gay writer that the storyline had been reduced to a facile argument about six seconds of missing screen time.