entertainment

CBBC airs touching coming out scene just days after shutting down same-sex kiss complaints

LGBTQ representation in children's entertainment continued in an episode of CBBC's 'Mystic' this week.

2020-08-06

CBBC has aired a touching coming out scene, just days after expertly shutting down complaints about a same-sex kiss on a separate series.

On Tuesday (4 August) the children's broadcaster aired an episode of New Zealand drama Mystic, which follows London girl Issie (Issie (played by Macey Chipping) as she moves to New Zealand and uncovers a series of secrets surrounding a mysterious injured horse.

The half-hour episode saw Issie's friend Caleb (Joshua Tan) come out as gay in a sweetly moving scene which taught a valuable lesson about being true to yourself and the dangers of stereotyping.

"I’ve been thinking about what you said earlier, about trusting us and you know, feeling like an outsider and stuff," Caleb says. "I do feel like that sometimes."

He continues: "I’m weird too. I’m gay… I think. No. I know I am."

After Issie's intial reaction is to make a joke about whether this means he likes Taylor Swift, Caleb gently informs her that she's stereotyping him.

"Can I try again?" Issie replies. "Thank you for telling me. It must have been really hard."

She adds: "Being gay is… it’s like one little piece of who you are. A good piece. You know that, right? Take your time. No pressure."

The episode's broadcast comes just days after the BBC was forced to respond to homophobic viewer complaints after another of its teen dramas, The Next Step, aired a same-sex kiss.

In a powerfully-worded statement, the corporation said: "I’m afraid we do not agree that it was inappropriate for the audience age – CBBC regularly portrays heterosexual young people dating, falling in love, and kissing, and it is an important way of showing children what respectful, kind and loving relationships look like.   

"At Children’s BBC, we are proud to reflect all areas of children’s lives across our factual and fictional output."

Mystic is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.