I’m not sure if it’s the rhinestones or the abundance of fab gay men, but I am looking forward to seeing behind the candelabra, the Scott Soderbergh film about Liberace, which was rejected by US studios for being “too gay” and now can be seen on HBO as opposed to our silver screens, down under.
Recently I tuned into a great show called ‘please like me,’ created by Josh Thomas, where stereotypes of gay men are broken and important issues are explored with colourful and relevant characters to today’s society. The show however was pushed to ABC2 and was suggested it was also too gay for TV. But the show has now been picked up by Pivot, a new US cable channel and will début in North America in August. US viewers have already fallen in love with the show and the network is now co-producing the second season with Josh becoming the face of Pivot. Is this proof that maybe we got it wrong down under, or is this just an example of how confused the Australian media is? In a country where we have welcomed the shunned Liberace movie with open arms, we have turned our back on a show for a similar reason that what we welcomed was also rejected.
But it’s not just this incidence. Cleo took the word sex off the front cover due to the theory young girls would be embarrassed to read it in front of people, but still filled the pages with sexual content. Big Brother cleaned up it’s act to a “family friendly” version but within the first show Sonia Kruger made multiple sexual comments including one referring to “swingers” and picking keys out of a bowl. The Daily Telegraphy also boasts a “family friendly” image however within its pages are revenue boosting classifieds selling sex behind images of smiling children and giveways. And how can we forget the ‘50 Shades Of Grey’ impact? Most shows would not have touched the topic of BDSM, but when this book flew off the shelves it was worldwide news and questions of these sexual acts followed publically.
What is it we are really scared of? Will talking about sex and related topics harm us as a society or help us to normalise what we already think and talk about and take away the unnecessarily shame and guilt? When considering a “family friendly” approach, people need to look deeply into what that means and also if “ family friendly” should always mean sex free. Two parents created a family by having sex and in order to keep a relationship going still might need to have sex. Children in a family are curious about sex and parents are struggling with how to explain that subject to them. No parent wants their child to have harmful thoughts around sex and wants them to be safe in their sexual choices when the time is right.
Is a show such as ‘Please Like me’ really too gay for Australian TV or could it have been a great avenue to teach people and maybe even families what it’s like in today’s society to be a gay man and the issues that surround coming out?
Is it sexual content that really is the enemy or the loud message of this content being removed from mainstream that is doing us more harm? What does that teach kids about sex? Is talking about sex something beautiful, normal and necessary or is it something naughty and bad that needs to be hidden from our screens?
The power is with you, the consumer. Are you confused about sex and it’s place in the media? Your viewing choices can decide it’s fate.