BBC Cuts Out 'Doctor Who' Lesbian Kiss in Asia
The Doctor Who debut of Peter Capaldi has aired in Asia without a scene featuring a kiss between two female characters.
The scene was edited out of the version of the sci-fi hit show, broadcast on the BBC Entertainment network in such territories as Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore, due to regulations in Singapore, Radio Times magazine reported.
The broadcast code in Singapore, where the BBC Entertainment feed for Asia is transmitted from, has strict rules on "information, themes or subplots on lifestyles such as homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexualism, transsexualism, transvestism, pedophilia and incest," according to the report.
Running afoul of the code could have left the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, liable for a fine, it said.
"In order to comply with broadcast regulations in Asia where our BBC Entertainment channel airs, BBC Worldwide made a brief edit to the first episode of Doctor Who series eight, but did so without detracting from the storyline," BBC Worldwide said.
The deleted scene showed characters Madame Vastra, a Silurian, and human wife Jenny Flint kissing to share oxygen under a threat from droids who can only detect people when they breathe.
In the U.K., the scene led to six viewer complaints, but media watchdog Ofcom wouldn't review the scene. It said: "Our rules do not discriminate between scenes involving opposite sex and same sex couples."