Brian Sewell complains about gay characters in soaps

EastEndersBrian Sewell has complained about the number of LGBT characters in soaps and has questioned whether gay relationships are suitable for young children to view.

The art-critic attacked the number of LGBT characters in Coronation Street – and soaps in general – in an article for the Daily Mail. In recent months there has been criticism, from some quarters, over the number of gay characters in Coronation Street. The criticisms come as the ITV soap features one gay couple and one lesbian couple while a cross-dressing character was recently introduced. These criticisms has been picked up by Sewell but he also attacks other soaps such as EastEnders.


“There’s too much, not only of gay men – who are estimated to make up just six per cent of the population, but who dominate the storylines in the soap – but also of lesbians, bisexuals, the trans-gender community, cross-dressers and everyone else with some sexual quirk or fetish…..Is it true that the lives of heterosexual Mancunians are haplessly intertwined with transvestites, transsexuals, teenage lesbians and a horde of homosexuals across the age range? Is Manchester now the Sodom of the North?” – Brian Sewell writing for the Daily Mail

It is not just Coronation Street — EastEnders is at it, too, with, last month, boys in bed together, apparently naked….The dear old egalitarian BBC protested that its policy is to portray gay and hetero- sexual relationships in exactly the same way, both equally suitable for pre-watershed viewing. But are they equally suitable?  Are soaps, watched by pre-pubescent children — who may still have some tattered remnant of innocence that we should cherish — really a proper platform for sexual propaganda and special pleading?” ” – Brian Sewell writing for the Daily Mail

EastEnders was the subject 125 complaints last month for a scene showing gay couple Christian (John Partridge) and Syed (Marc Elliot) in bed together. The BBC defended the scene and revealed it had recieved many messages of support over the scene. Shortly after defending EastEnders the BBC were forced to defend a gay kiss in Holby City between Dan (Adam Astill) and Antonie Malick (Jimmy Akingbola) after some viewers felt it was “unsuitable” for children.

Holby City gay kissThe argument that gay kisses/gay relationships are unsuitable for “children” is often wheeled out by some when soaps and dramas ‘dare’ to feature such scenes though the majority of the audience seemingly don’t have problems with them considering the small number of complaints in each case.

The article by Brian Sewell has mostly – at the time of publication – gone un-noticed. However, it has been picked up by a fewer Coronation Street viewers one of which posted on a forum “Never mind the murders, deaths, disasters, violent acts, jail sentences and scenes of alcoholism over the years, children must be protected from the gays!”

You can read the full article by Brian Sewell for the Daily Mail here >>