The First Gay Kiss On Saudi Arabian TV

In last night’s Olympic Opening Ceremony, during the Frankie And June Say Thanks Tim section celebrating a century of music and technology, when Frankie and June finally meet up and kiss, we got a barrage of clips of kisses from film and TV, from Charlie Chaplin to Lady And The Tramp to Shrek to Planet Of The Apes to Wall-E. And one was between two young women from the British TV soap Brookside from 1993, the first lesbian kiss between two characters on pre-watershed British television, a time considered suitable for all ages to watch unsupervised.

(One of them was Anna Friel. More may know her from Pushing Daisies.)

It ran unchanged in most territories, for about half a second, including many in the Middle East where it suddenly became the first gay kiss on their entire televisual history, including Saudi Arabia where homosexuality is illegal, with punishments including beatings and hangings.

With so many countries live streaming the content as it was provided, it small, it was tiny, it was slight, it was an oversight on their part, but it’s just a miniscule victory for Danny Boyle.