Channel Ten soapie, Neighbours is so far behind the times all that’s missing from the Ramsay Street set is an FJ Holden and a Hills Hoist washing line.

Next week on hit Aussie show Neighbours: women get the vote

Case in point: last night’s episode of the popular show where male gay characters, Chris and Aiden, share their first on-screen kiss.

Well, whoop de do. Feels a little bit 1985, especially for a show that’s dominated its time slot for 27 years. Surely that’s time enough to understand your audience? So what’s taken them so long to get on board with gay relationships?

It’s a bad reflection of Australian society too. One that suggests that we’re all happy to live in claustrophobic version of suburbia with a pretty average pub and coffee shop to keep us amused all day. Given that Neighbours has an energetic international following, that’s not much of a tourism boost either. 

Perhaps Neighbours’ producers were actually waiting for a turn in public opinion. After all, it’s only a recent poll that found approximately 62 per cent of us are in support of gay marriage. 

This is a marked change since the very first Neighbours lesbian kiss, between Natalie Saleeba and Nicky Whelan, back in March 2007 when public support for gay unions was at 52 per cent. That scene, which was completely engineered for a much needed ratings boost, ended up being completely ignored. Which begs the question, is two girl’s kissing that much less interesting than two boys? 

Producers say it all comes down to ratings. In an interview last year, Neighbours executive producer Susan Bowen said the show was unlikely to show a kiss between the gay male characters because of its G rating. But that’s hardly an excuse. Straight couples on Neighbours kiss all the time. Plus, its move in January this year to the same timeslot on Channel 11 has given a boost to a PG rating. 

But homosexuality is not the only thing the show seems slow to move on. Lack of non-Caucasian characters has also been bug-bear. The show was even described by Britain’s anti-racism watchdog as “hideously white”. A problem they only really addressed in February this year with the addition of the Indian Kapoor family: Ajay, Priya and their teenage daughter Rani.

It’s clearly a case of better late than never for the people of Ramsay Street. 

Neighbours producers say they deliberately chose to delay the televised kiss and decided on an understated approach to last night’s kissing scene. 

‘‘It’s not sensationalist or token - we are very proud of the way we have done this,’’ the show’s executive producer, Susan Bowery said.

One thing is for sure, the viewers don’t seem to mind.

According to the Herald Sun, last night’s episode received a warm welcome from the public, with lots of people turning to Twitter to express their support for the kiss. 

Sentiments perfectly summed up by this: @james_mason15 for showing its ok to be gay. Be proud, tweeted another fan.

Let’s also hope Chris and Aiden, the characters in question, get another go of it soon. One kiss every year is not a good sign in any relationship.

Follow me on Twitter: @lucyjk

Most commented

116 comments

Show oldest | newest first

    • fairsfair says:

      12:26pm | 10/04/12

      I think it is a good thing. Mostly because of as the EP puts it - it was not sensationalist or token - it was an act of real life, which is what should be promoted.

      But this is not enough? FFS.

      Notice the girls in the foreground aren’t pointing at them like they are a freakshow and the world didn’t come to a screetching hault like is did when Becky said she wasn’t drinking tonight…. isn’t that a good thing? Isn’t it good that it wasn’t as you say manufactured for ratings?

      Good golly, they can’t win. Besides… who the hell is watching Neighbours these days. Home and Away is where it is at wink

    • scumbag says:

      03:12pm | 10/04/12

      Nah, Home & Away is just as much a shit show as Neighbours. And any so called “show”, probably meaning entertainment for some slobs and braindead individuals, on commercial tv channels is pure shit. All of it.

    • Max says:

      04:57pm | 10/04/12

      The show is dead. It will be off the air in 6 months.

    • Traxster says:

      11:59am | 11/04/12

      Gimme ‘The Rafters’ any day/night.

    • AFR says:

      12:37pm | 10/04/12

      Do they still have a token Asian?

    • Smidgeling says:

      11:27am | 11/04/12

      How could anyone forget her? Check her out in “Dollhouse”. Sweet jesus christ…

    • M says:

      12:39pm | 10/04/12

      I thought only teenagers and Poms watched neighbours and home and away?

    • gobsmack says:

      12:40pm | 10/04/12

      Number 96 was years ahead of its time.

    • adam says:

      12:48pm | 10/04/12

      particulalry when the chap who lost his leg in the explosion grew it back!

    • gobsmack says:

      01:45pm | 10/04/12

      I thought that was his hitherto unmentioned identical brother who had returned unexpectedly from overseas.  But I could be getting confused.
      I liked the way they had a big bomb blast to get rid of half the characters when the ratings started dropping off.  I think a few TV shows would benefit from the same.

    • adam says:

      03:03pm | 10/04/12

      Gob, you’re right. Other shows could benefit from a bomb, still others nothing could save, even Ashton Kutcher

      Apparently they (the creators) tried to sell a modern re-imagining of Number 96 to some studios. They were told “no” and that the original had been made in “braver times”. Not certain our society is better or worse for that

      Oh, and it wasn’t Abigal who was the first topless girl on Aussie tele

    • Kaldors says:

      05:05pm | 10/04/12

      You are correct. Arnold Feather lost a leg in a letter bomb explosion in 1973, but soon was walking around normally. Despite the story- repeated by cast members and fans alike- it wasn’t totally forgotten about: in the recent DVDs there are mentions of him having just one leg. In the bigger bomb of 1975, Arnold was in the other room so survived without a scratch. Later, Arnold’s long lost twin Chook showed up.

    • Sam says:

      12:44pm | 10/04/12

      About time. I have to say I’ve never watched Neighbours until this storyline emerged, and even then, I’ve just watched whenever Chris and Aiden are involved. It might still have the trappings of a soap opera, but the representation of both gay characters here is actually one of, if not the, most refreshing and non-stereotypical of any mainstream portrayal I’ve ever seen. Both men are actually presented as masculine: Chris is an apprentice mechanic and Aiden, while a nurse, has a tendency for beers and rock music. Seeing masculinity and homosexuality as not-mutually-exclusive is hardly groundbreaking for people who have homo mates in real life, or blokes like me who like other blokes but don’t identify as “gay” and all that comes with that, but this is rare as hen’s teeth in a mainstream media portrayal for a mostly straight audience.

      So, while I agree the presence of these characters and their kiss are both way overdue, I’m glad the show’s producers have actually done it remarkably well and not gone for something cliched and painful. This kind of representation really hits home for me, but also would do wonders for same-sex attracted teenagers growing up and seeing this - I know it would have had a positive influence on me if this had happened ten years ago.

    • AdamC says:

      01:03pm | 10/04/12

      Wait, you like men, don’t identity as gay yet use that ghastly ‘same sex attracted’ terminology? Why??

      I never really watched Neighbours often, and I watch it even less after it was banished to the digital staion badlands. This storyline hasn’t exactly made me a regular viewer, either, though one member of the gay couple is very nice to look at. Having said that, I would agree that less stereotypically gay portrayals of, well, gays is a good thing. How that is congruent with making one of the characters a nurse is beyond me, though. Yikes!

    • fairsfair says:

      01:04pm | 10/04/12

      That was a nice read Sam.

      I am torn by the character of Kurt on Glee. He has been regailed as some sort of cutting edge inclusion when in reality, he hardly represents the majority of the minority (if that makes sense). He only further heightens the stereotype that all gay men are extremely feminine and are in a choir (yes I know it is Glee, but I am sure you see what I am getting at). It is a world of extremes, as on the other hand you have the overtly homophobic footy player who is himself gay - he again represents another small group of gay men. To me that seems less progressive to what they are doing in little old Ramsay Street.

      So I totally get what you are saying - it is nice to see homosexuality represented as just normal, which is what most think it to be. I have to say I don’t really understand Lucy’s opposition to it, I think it is as you say very refreshing. Well done to them and I hope it helps some totally normal teenage boys realise that they are just that - totally normal.

    • Sam says:

      01:32pm | 10/04/12

      AdamC - “same-sex attracted males” is one of those crappy terms I’m stuck using because I don’t use the word gay, and when I say “homos” on the internet, people tend to interpret that as a slight when it’s actually how I identify myself. So that’s why: my rejection of the word gay doesn’t give much room to move in terms of semantics. It just sucks that “gay” seems to be the only casual, mainstream word to indicate a bloke who is into blokes. We need a better word.

      fairsfair - Cheers mate. I also am not a fan of Kurt on Glee. Part of that stems from, as you say, the way in which he holds up this ancient and damaging and 100% wrong stereotype: that us homos are automatically feminine or less-of-a-man than our straight bros. But more to the point, even if he was one of those blokes who is a bit feminine, that wouldn’t be a problem if he had some guts, but he doesn’t. The gay characters on Glee all tend to be weepy and vulnerable and unable to defend themselves. With Kurt, I feel like yelling at him to stand up for himself and not take half the crap he does take. At least Chris’ storyline has him being a bit more assertive along with the vulnerability of coming out, without going too far the other way and being a caricature of “look how non-stereotypical I am!” (see: the homo character off the terrible sitcom Happy Endings). Chris is a really great character and could be a great role model: he’s homosexual, but he’s a man’s man, he stands up for himself enough and he’s not weak, and I think that’s what people, especially teenage boys and young adults struggling with this, need to see.

    • Kaz says:

      02:39pm | 10/04/12

      I agree…I am a “straight” female who has noticed this insidious lie the media and popular culture spread that all homosexual males are feminine, love fashion and are flamboyant, which we all know is not the case at all. PS.  I don’t watch Neighbours so I can’t really comment on the scene but I wonder if it will happen one day that it’s just another soapie scene that needs no story or comment,

    • adam says:

      12:47pm | 10/04/12

      meh, it’s a work of fiction. It’s not real life nor a Tourism Australia campaign

      If it doesn’t match what you would like to see on the idiot box vote with your remote.

    • Kym says:

      12:56pm | 10/04/12

      ‘Neighbours’... ?  That’s not entertainment… its torture. They could get Richard Dawkins to go to church instead of watching that.

    • AdamC says:

      12:57pm | 10/04/12

      ‘Hideously white?’ Charming.

      Can someone explain why TV shows are suddenly expected to have casts which reflect the ethnic and other demographic composition of the audience who watches it?

      Is multiculturalism ever going to grow up, or are we still going to have absurd articles like this being written in 2050?

    • Flanker says:

      01:14pm | 10/04/12

      Exactly my thoughts AdamC.

      Apparently, according to Lucy K, every TV show produced in Australia must have at least one person representing every demographic in Australia today, over wise they are Racist !

      Also enjoy the fact that she has a crack at the traditional ‘white’ Australian stereotype : “FJ Holden and Hills hoist washing line”.

    • andye says:

      01:17pm | 10/04/12

      @AdamC - check the backlash against the hunger games movies black characters. i have never read the book or seen the movie but my understanding is that the characters in question were described as being dark in the books… yet many people got very upset when the characters they imagined as white were cast black for the movie. in tv, movies, games and other media it can be areal problem casting a minority in a big role. an arab can play… an arab, but he isnt nearly as likely to be a romantic lead or a hero, and this is because of the prejudice of the audience.

      you are mocking the article with your head in the sand. white = default. do you deny this?

    • Wizard says:

      01:20pm | 10/04/12

      Yup I agree.
      Something I have been puzzling over recently is that homosexuality has been around for thousands of years, why is it that it has to be made a big deal out of?  I mean this with the greatest of respect to people who are homosexual, but really, people are just people.  People first and then things like race, gender, sexual orientation etc.

      I would much rather celebrate people as individuals…. naive perhaps?

    • M says:

      01:43pm | 10/04/12

      @ Wizard, Religion is the problem. See the Old Testament story about Sodom and Gomorrah.

    • Economist says:

      02:35pm | 10/04/12

      Bloody hell that’s twice you’ve pipped me at the post with a similar view. I’ll have to stop copying you. Next we’ll be accused of being the same person. grin

    • John says:

      02:39pm | 10/04/12

      AdamC, the answer to your first question is: because that’s what leftists want.

      It’s also why shows like Merlin, set in middle ages Britain, has so many black and Indian characters in it.

      I expect that the next WW2 epic will contain plenty of black and Jewish Nazis too, in order to reflect the audience composition.

      The answer to your second question is: No. Multiculturalism will never grow up. It is a leftist concept, and like the leftists that promote it it can never become self-sustaining. It is stuck in adolescence, demanding all of its rights, but never wanting any responsibilities.

    • gobsmack says:

      03:04pm | 10/04/12

      TV shows should reflect a bit of reality.  A show about present day suburban Australia should have a few asian and middle eastern people in it.  A show about medieval Britain shouldn’t.

    • AdamC says:

      03:35pm | 10/04/12

      Flanker, exactly. How far would you take this ridiculous principle?

      Wizard, well, we have been around for a while, but it is only recently we have come into anything like the mainstream culture.

      Economist, you know what they say. Great mind, etc ...

      John, well, I suppose that you are right. It is depressing, though.

      Gobsmack, I do not disagree, but by launching a jihad over every perceived element of anglocentrism in a TV show, the mult-cultists are being both ridiculous and divisive. Just as it should not be a major issue to have, say, a Vietnamese family on Neighbours, it shouldn’t be a Federal racial discrimination case when there isn’t one. That is the sort of ‘gimme, gimme’ multicultural immaturity that annoys me. That, and holding up Neighbours as some authoritative, archetypal reflection of Australian society is like presenting Grindr as the unified voice of gay men around the world.

      Andye, no, I don’t agree that white is the default. I think that imagined idea is an excellent mechanism for projecting all sorts of internalised inferiorities onto society at large, however.

    • Georgina says:

      04:59pm | 10/04/12

      Thank you and Amen!!! Nah, multiculturalism is never going to grow up (in this country) while we have this “must appease EVERYBODY” mentality in everything we do. In many Bollywood movies, many western women are portrayed as ‘slutish’ or dressed like tramps. Oh the outrage….they must be RACIST! Having lived in India and the Middle East, I can guarantee you that if ‘whitey’ whined and complained about the lack of non-caucasians in their television programmes, the complaint would be laughed out. Seriously, are there not more important things to concern yourself with??

    • Nathan Explosion says:

      06:43pm | 10/04/12

      @andye

      Rue and Thresh are specifically described as being black in the books. Cinna isn’t described, but Katniss does describe him as wearing gold eyeliner, and Mrs Explosion tells me gold eyeliner is much more noticeable on black people than white people.

      Honestly, some of the tweets about Rue’s casting were flat out disgusting. People saying the movie was ‘ruined’ and calling her an ugly nappy haired n-word. Just vile, even more so when directed at a 12 year old.

    • Pat says:

      05:45am | 11/04/12

      Political Correctness:
      An insidious social tactic device, practiced at many levels of human interaction as a form of harmless and arbitary censorship.  Used also as an opportunistic aim,  to legislate a populace ‘to be good’ wherever possible, and as a form of collective human attitude control. Accordingly: it contains the full prejudicial order of things, which where appropriate, any such would - be enforcer should recognise and seek to tactically use, in order to stifle all forms of opposing comment
      A.K.A. Modern day leftie -Fascism. : ” that menacing poisonous spike, sticking out of what looks like that seemingly all -inclusive , universal -sized velvet glove.: Somethng deceptive,  that is always being extended out , but wanting and intending to destroy life’s hard won democratic liberties”..

    • Green Tea says:

      01:01pm | 12/04/12

      Seriously?
      You guys want to compare Australia to “India and China”?
      Does it make you feel better to compare yourself to the lowest common denominator?

      These countries don’t purport to be multicultural, have freedom/liberty or be a bastion of democracy (even though India is a barely functioning democracy).

      I’m all for integration (I’m a migrant) but to what point?

      To the point I can’t have my own personal beliefs - example, I don’t drink, and occasionally I am shunned and mocked for not buying into what I perceive to be a hideous drinking culture that is allowed to spiral out of control? Or should I be given the evil eye if I’m Muslim (I’m not, btw.) and I need to pray my daily prayers - yet every smoker in the office can take off willy nilly to take 5 minute smokos anytime they please? Doesn’t take a Muslim more than 3 minutes to finish a prayer in a quiet area (stairwell, etc).

      Or forcing an Aussie accent in myself to be considered as one of you?

      I see myself as a fairly well integrated individual - pay my taxes, work in a professional job, highly educated, don’t take dole because I see it as an absolute last resort, enjoy and am involved in Aussie culture and company (except things like drinking but I don’t mind sometimes joining my friends at the local pub with a ginger beer in hand),  pro-Australia mostly, except where reason and logic is denied (example: Australian participation in various wars they have nothing to do with) and I would defend Australia over any other country most times because I respect the land I live in.

      Do you mean a mono-culture, multi-racial country where other religions and cultures not of the majority white culture (which is debateable itself because many white Aussies are of migrant stock themselves who just came earlier than the others) are merely ‘tolerated’ and can peddle their wares/tales/religion/celebrations in a corner like most other 3rd world countries?
      Maybe you would do well to remember not to despise the migrants and refugees but have a look at the Government - all Aussies - who bring them without quality testing so that they don’t have to actually do any real work on the economy, for short term returns.
      Migrants have a really hard time here (minus the bludgers) - you can say it was “our choice” but wasn’t the Government “your choice” as well?

      I respect that many Aussies are great people, have a great culture and such - but I’ve been here a good many years and find that the openness, the fair go, laid back attitude and family/individualistic lifestyle has narrowed into an angry, tunnel vision angst that lashes out at migrants like myself who work hard, study hard, contribute as much - sometimes more, and just like the rest of you and the origins of this country, came here for a better life.

    • Tony of Poorakistan says:

      01:03pm | 10/04/12

      Wonder if they’ll soon have a bunch of Sudanese and Iraquis, tooling around in their taxpayer funded cars and living in Ramsay St for nothing.

    • AFR says:

      01:55pm | 10/04/12

      Feel the need to up your trolling sine the Punch got rid of Erick?

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      02:32pm | 10/04/12

      @AFR

      Sad part is he doesn’t troll, he’s serious.

    • Tony of Poorakistan says:

      02:55pm | 10/04/12

      Just trying to keep it real-life ...

    • Canute says:

      03:24pm | 10/04/12

      that would make for a wonderful story arc involving demands for sharia law, arranged marriages to children and honor killings!!!!

    • firefly says:

      03:44pm | 10/04/12

      Dont foget a few drive by shootings & maybe a planned terrorist attack at Holdsworthy army base Canute. We want to keep it authentically multicultural after all!!    smile

    • Geez... says:

      05:53pm | 10/04/12

      What about having a detention centre in Ramsey St? Where all the detainees escape, burn the detention facility to the ground, and then take over Erinsborough by killing all the ‘white residents’....that should keep the brain dead happy for a while.

    • Pat says:

      06:59am | 11/04/12

      I am not trying to be provocative. To all those screaming for political correct equality, here goes!  Is the Punch brave enough, for this?
      Don’t beat around the bush,...juist throw “the real elephant in the room”  now , straight on the floor.
      That is:  Let’s be really equally politico - religo / all inclusive ,/ ethnic-conscious /  or what anyone wants to call that ‘correctness’ terminology thing -  right now, into this discussion.  Neighbours or Home & Away ....should offer to cast those same ‘ethnic people ’ and then have them, do another of those ‘red hot’ grasping sweaty passionate sex scenes, like any other white Australian cast member could be called on, to act out as part of their usual actors’ hiring contract.
      Is THAT ....shocked, stunned silence I hear?

      Besides the storm and outrage, such an daring offer would make in some quarters:  the argument for ‘such an acting equal employment offer ’  would be then unmasked, as being absolutely impossible to achieve.. .  And make,  just as stupid , the complaints made by political correctors that opportunities for ethnic actors, are never available in the first place.

      Could one imagine any other form or type of actor, virtually going to a casting office and stipulating “: I will not even consider any acting role,or wish to co-operate on any studio set - where the character or any part of a script that may comes up - offends my own personal held religious beliefs at any time, in any way?”  That is the legal right of such an actor to refuse such jobs…...JUST as it is the equal legal right of a casting officier to employ who they believe will do the job they ask.Without having some employee going to lay down as yet,  unknown conditions outside a contractual arrangement. Any intending actor that implies or wwould wish to set down such a set of open ended one sided conditions better, keep their day job.

    • Economist says:

      01:08pm | 10/04/12

      I don’t know I look at my neighbours and they’re all white, but we do have a lesbian couple near by. Why demand other races be represented. 

      The race thing does interests me in that US sitcoms the ethnic minority is rarely the main character, but plays the plucky comedic relief; side kick i.e. New Girl, Psych, Eastbound and Down, The Office, The Walking Dead etc. The only exceptions I can think of that rated well were the Cosby’s and Fresh Prince and does Lopez count?

    • Danny B says:

      01:24pm | 10/04/12

      Here’s another exception: Whose Line is it Anyway.  In which all four of the main cast (including Wayne Brady) play the comedy relief.  After all, it’s a improvisational comedy show.

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      02:34pm | 10/04/12

      Depends where you live.

      Sydney is going to be different from QLD or TAS.

    • Zaf says:

      02:39pm | 10/04/12

      The Cosby’s (Cosbies?) were actually White, albeit not white.  Just saying.

    • Kate says:

      03:45pm | 10/04/12

      Outside of sitcoms things get a bit more diverse, eg Oz on HBO (Adebisi was black, Alvarez was Latino, there was an Italian guy whose name escapes me). Schillinger was white and pro-Aryan, Beecher was white, and O’Reily was white but copped shit for being Irish.

    • Suzanne says:

      09:55am | 11/04/12

      I don’t know where you live but my eastern Melbourne suburb neighbours are a mix of ‘strayan, indian-american, chinese, african and vietnamese.The couple next door to us are an Asian-Strayan mix and I’m irish. The portrayal of suburban Australia as blonde and blue-eyed does not reflect the reality of any suburb I’ve been to in Melbourne.
      I think the real question is why white australians are so afraid of ending the stereotype. What harm will it do to have more characters from different ethnic backgrounds?

    • Hanzel says:

      01:16pm | 10/04/12

      The question is, why is the incidence of mental illness increasing amongst young gay people as society is becoming more tolerant. Could it be that shows like this that present gay relationships in all their glory are causing more bullying than they’re stopping. Like big government dependency lovers, are the helpers really the hurters

    • Markus says:

      04:04pm | 10/04/12

      Before you come to such a conclusion, you might be better off trying to find a demographic in which rates of mental illness are NOT increasing.

    • neil says:

      01:38pm | 10/04/12

      Over 92% of the Australian population are of European descent, so less than 8% are from other ethnic groups, 10% identify as being gay.

      Neighbours has a permanent cast of 17 and a reoccurring cast of another 27, 44 characters in total. So if these minorities were received proportional representation there would be three ethnic and four gay characters, of the permanent characters there would only be one of each.

      So you would have to say they have got it about right.

    • John says:

      02:15pm | 10/04/12

      Neil, journalists and other leftist activists are not good with logic and statistical analysis. They are touchy-feely people, who just “know” what is and isn’t acceptable via their morally superior perceptions.

      That also explains why anybody who dares to disagree with them must always be motivated by evil and sinister intentions.

    • firefly says:

      02:37pm | 10/04/12

      Careful with those facts Neil. Cue the multiculturists screeching racist….....

    • Happymonkey says:

      02:59pm | 10/04/12

      @John.

      Like BIG OIL!

      @neil.

      Hmmm… it is strange, I live in a suburban neighbourhood, and I think I have roughly the same level of representation in my neighbours.

      Oh how the UK’s “Racist Watchdog” would be very upset with my community, our culture of exclusion, and our blatant bigotry and racism.

    • Smulder says:

      03:28pm | 10/04/12

      Less than 3% of adults in Australia identify as being gay. It is not even close to 10%.

      Statistically, gays are actually over-represented on the show.

    • Bitten says:

      04:24pm | 10/04/12

      Oh noes! Someone uses maths and facts instead of ‘feelings’ and ‘vibes’ and ‘just because logic’. Quick, you’ll make the journos cry neil!

    • sarah says:

      01:39pm | 10/04/12

      if they are showing this due to “pressure”, then where is the hindu, where is the muslim, where is the anxiety sufferer / mum with post natal depression, where is the refugee? all this political correctness is ridiculous! Drama is drama, its not a ‘representation of every minority group drama’. People need to get over it and if they want to see gay men kissing go to oxford st.

    • Tommy says:

      01:40pm | 10/04/12

      What a completely puerile article - gays are a statistically insignificant portion of the population so it is entirely justifiable to not put them in the show.

    • Canute says:

      03:40pm | 10/04/12

      well said tommy,  but…

      Journos, leftys and multicultos never let the truth get in the way of a good propaganda tale…..

    • Craig McDonald says:

      11:18am | 11/04/12

      I agree the article is puerile, as is your statement that gays are statistically insignificant. From where do you get your figures?
      It’s been generally accepted from the 1950’s that approximately 10% of the population identifies as what we today call LGBTQ.

    • Mike says:

      01:52pm | 10/04/12

      Absolutely! Besides, I was under the impression that Neighbors was purely fictional and light entertainment, not some sort of serious social commentary or documentary. This article makes almost as much sense as observing that Walt Disney discriminated against rats because his cartoons showed mice, dogs, cats, ducks but NO rats!

    • Fred says:

      01:58pm | 10/04/12

      There’s no Jews as far as I know. They must be Hitler loving white supremacists.

      “One that suggests that we’re all happy to live in claustrophobic version of suburbia with a pretty average pub and coffee shop to keep us amused all day. “

      Damned straight I am. So is most of the world who’d give anything to live here in our god awful suburban..suburbs. Anything to keep away from the PC wankathon

    • Adam Diver says:

      01:59pm | 10/04/12

      I totally agree! I hate when commercial operations make decisions based on their commercial interests and not on some left/multicultural/green agenda. As a white Australian I was never aware of any other races or sexual orientations until I got my information from neighbors. I am told that other country’s doing social studies on our population use neighbors as a reference as well.

      I say more power to the minority group, activists groups, un-elected bureaucracy, and of course government, because the marketplace won’t portray the diversity that we so desperately crave.

    • Craig McDonald says:

      02:00pm | 10/04/12

      No one has commented on the glaring error in the article? The first lesbian kiss in Neighbours was in 2004 between Lana and Sky.
      But getting to the point at hand, as a gay man, I’m been really happy to see this storyline grow on Neighbours. Chris and Aiden are both great characters, and it’s terrific to see them accepted as equals to the other relationships on the program.
      I think that criticizing Neighbours for a lack of gay characters is a little narrow minded - they have tried it and have always been howled down by conservative groups. However, as our society becomes more accepting of gay relationships, we are beginning to see a change on our TV screens.

    • the other Lauren says:

      03:51pm | 10/04/12

      Craig, Lucy doesn’t like little pesky facts getting in the way of an easy article sledging a not-so-good television show.

    • Pat says:

      07:31am | 11/04/12

      TMZ , the US T.V. program was on the other night late . At the start, where there is a mutual cracking of stories about celebrities amonst the program’s team of commentators:  the sucbject got onto people who were gay. One of the team’s guys then happlly spoke briefly in passing about himself ,being gay and then bluntly and affirmatively said Quote: ” Well I like penis! “
      Imagine…. the Aussie soapies ever coming up witht that line!

    • Dave says:

      02:00pm | 10/04/12

      Why the surprise it took so long?
      Gay relationships are a minority. The television show Neighbours is aimed at a majority audience. There are plenty of other shows targeted towards the gay community, it just so happens Neighbours isn’t one of them.

    • Zopo says:

      02:04pm | 10/04/12

      Are the actors actually gay or did they use hetro’s to portray gay men?

      Why not actually use gay actors? Or is that like using a cow in place of a horse as it looks more real on TV like in The Simpsons?

    • che says:

      03:58pm | 10/04/12

      If they only employed actors who live as their characters do, how would they ever get someone to kiss toady?

    • Kate S. says:

      02:10pm | 10/04/12

      This not political correctness. A show that reflects the actual diversity of life in Australia is a far more interesting show. All white is pretty boring and doesn’t give a larger number of actors a go either. Besides, there are many interesting story lines that could be spun. I don’t think one Asian family from India is going to do it but it is a start. Saying that, it is 2012 so they shouldn’t just be starting now.

      Good on you Lucy.

    • Marcus says:

      02:17pm | 10/04/12

      Since when did fiction have to represent reality?

    • PW says:

      02:22pm | 10/04/12

      What poll was this that found 62% of Australians were in favour of gay marriage? It wasn’t the one carried out by a gay lobby group by any chance was it?

      I’m sure I could run a poll with less than 10% in favour of gay marriage. It all depends who you ask.

      If you are suggesting that 62% of Australians would vote in favour of gay marriage in a referendum, I’m quite sure you would be horribly mistaken, Missy.

    • Dene says:

      08:33am | 16/04/12

      PW - or the one that says “10%” carried out by the churches.. TOUCHE’

    • PW says:

      02:22pm | 10/04/12

      What poll was this that found 62% of Australians were in favour of gay marriage? It wasn’t the one carried out by a gay lobby group by any chance was it?

      I’m sure I could run a poll with less than 10% in favour of gay marriage. It all depends who you ask.

      If you are suggesting that 62% of Australians would vote in favour of gay marriage in a referendum, I’m quite sure you would be horribly mistaken, Missy.

    • John says:

      02:26pm | 10/04/12

      “Hideously White”? Nice, and from an “anti-racist watchdog” too. More proof that “anti-racist” is just code for “anti-white”, just in case there was any remaining doubt.

      I wonder if the Cosby show was ever referred to as “hideously black”, or if Seinfeld was ever referred to as “hideously Jewish” or if “Queer eye for the straight guy” was ever referred to as “hideously gay”?

      It’s a rhetorical question, that we all know the answer to.

    • jdm says:

      10:30pm | 10/04/12

      This.

      The truth that no one wants to admit for fear of being labled.

    • Dave - No I'm not homophobic says:

      02:36pm | 10/04/12

      How about ABC3 FOR KIDS doing the same last night. Dance Academy showed not only teens drunk and throwing up, they showed 2 boys embracing in a long kiss. My 7 year old daughter shouted out that 2 boys were kissing. I then had to explain to her why they did it and my wife was then furious I let her watch the show. However this is G rated with a demographic of girls viewing it in ages of 6-15. WHY did ABC need to do this to what seems an innocent show. I have no probem myself with gays but it’s a little too ealry for me to be teaching my 7 year old about heterosexuals yet her trying to grasp the concept homosexual love. What the hell is a G rating for?

    • the other Lauren says:

      03:55pm | 10/04/12

      Your seven year old doesn’t know about heterosexual love?

      Are The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast banned in your house or something??

      She doesn’t need to know about sex, just explain the love. I promise you the world will not end.

    • AFR says:

      04:19pm | 10/04/12

      @ Dave - Yes. You are.

    • Dene says:

      08:36am | 16/04/12

      Dave - yes you are.. your daughter is probably more open minded than you are.. love is love.. a 7 year old would understand that.. too bad most people who ashould be more mature do not.Stop focusing on sex..

    • firefly says:

      02:43pm | 10/04/12

      If they really want to make it more in tune with todays Australian ethnic minorities they should add a few drive by shootings, more crime & maybe a well used centrelink to give it that authentic Bankstown feel.  After all, you want to keep it real dont you..? smile

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      04:11pm | 10/04/12

      Ho Ho Ho.

    • TimB says:

      04:41pm | 10/04/12

      I’m willing to bet good money Firefly has never spent a significant (if any) amount of time in Bankstown.

    • firefly says:

      04:42pm | 10/04/12

      Bwahaha! i wondered how long it would be until our defender of all things multicultural & muslim, “Simon from Lakemba”, would pull himself away from the mosque & reply to my post. I hope someone is keeping your prayer mat warm for you Simon. smile

    • fairsfair says:

      02:43pm | 10/04/12

      I also wonder why an article about a gay kiss on television attracts the file under tag of “Gay Marriage” and not simply “Gay Rights” or something along those lines? Are you meaning to say that a kiss between two parties is a contract for marriage? Feels a little bit 1885…

    • subotic says:

      02:51pm | 10/04/12

      Why do white journalists hate the colour of their own skin so much that they take every single opportunity to go “white bashing”?

      Imagine if Neighbours was a totally aboriginal show that for the 1st time showed a white person on it?

      Are you calling aboriginals out now?

      Calling a spade a spade, Lucy?

    • John says:

      09:32am | 11/04/12

      Because communists own the entire western media. They only hire self hating whites.

    • jimmy says:

      02:52pm | 10/04/12

      losers….. all of you

    • Mere Male says:

      03:03pm | 10/04/12

      I think its pitiful there’s enough people watching this trash to make it worth putting on every night. I mean, the viewers are so devoid of a life they get enjoyment watching a fantasy, about as unrepresentative of daily life as one could get, created in a panic by increasingly desperate scriptwriters and acted out (very badly) on tv.

    • Oh no! says:

      03:16pm | 10/04/12

      Ah, the day that Neighbours ‘Jumped the Shark’.

    • Richard says:

      03:25pm | 10/04/12

      Oh please, the only reason they did this because anything that doesn’t include a ‘gay’ support theme in some way isn’t getting the vote these days, it’s like the elections, the ones that will be voted in are the ones that support gay marriage.

      Lets see how happy gays are when the first year of gay divorces comes around. We’ll see them kick and squeal because they aren’t getting special treatment anymore.

    • Me says:

      04:26pm | 10/04/12

      You Sir! Win the most stupid comment award for the day. I can’t wait to have a 72 day gay marriage followed by divorce, if it means being treated just the same as you.

    • Dene says:

      09:02am | 16/04/12

      Special treatment?? I don’t want any special treatment.. why do ignorant people like you call equality “special treatment” ? And I cannot wait until the hypocrisy starts when a gay divorce happens.. you will be first in line pointing the finger.. ignoring the 50% of straight divorces i’m sure lol

    • Davo from the Port says:

      03:28pm | 10/04/12

      Very proud to declare that i have never watched an episode. For 27 years its promo adverts have always been enough to convince me not to waste half an hour of my life, that i would never get back.

    • Tad says:

      03:35pm | 10/04/12

      Neighbours does not dominate its timeslot. Today Tonight (you know, that show that journalist love to hate) is the king of 6:30. Before that it was ACA.

    • AFR says:

      03:43pm | 10/04/12

      Anyone else rememebr “Love Thy Neighbour”, with the labour vating while man Eddie Booth living next door to the tory-voting black guy Bill Reynolds and they called each other “honky” and “sambo”? Fun times.

    • the other Lauren says:

      03:47pm | 10/04/12

      Again Lucy, you have written an article about a television show you clearly don’t even watch.

      Just because a show may be rubbish (Neighbours, The Biggest Loser) does not give you the green light to skip researching the facts and to make up rubbish. Watch the bloody show if you are going to write an article on it.

      FYI (again, I’m going to punch myself for knowing this, just like I did for the TBL article), Neighbours’ first lesbian kiss was not in March 2007, it was way back in 2004 when Stephanie McIntosh was a WAG and a wannabe pop star. Secondly, the new Kapoor family is not the Neighbours’ knee-jerk reaction to the too-white-problem, they introduced a Korean character out of nowhere named Sunni (or some other silly name) and she dated Zeke. That was a few years back, when the Brits were not impressed with the lack of non-caucasian characters.

      Last night’s kiss between Chris and Aidan was wonderfully put together. It’s perhaps the first TV show directed at teens that did not make a huge song and dance about two males kissing (Glee just keeps on shooting itself in the foot, and waaay back when Dawson’s Creek was on, the gay kiss was given about five episodes of suspense to lead up to a bloody chaste kiss).

      Now, I’m going to give myself a wedgie, than watch a real show… like Doctor Who.

    • Repo says:

      04:27pm | 10/04/12

      My memory of Neighbours is seeing a first year medical student walking around a hospital with white doctor’s coat on, a young pregnant woman working out who would be the best dad out of the men she had slept with so his name could go on the birth certificate, and a nun being persuaded to have sex for money.

      No one has a problem with the absolute BS and unrealistic story lines, bu they just want to make sure that their BS and unrealistic TV show doesn’t offend the groups that currently sit on our social pedastal.

    • TheOzTrucker says:

      05:22pm | 10/04/12

      This has got to be the fault of that sneaky SOB Abbott. Surely one of the reds can pin it on him somehow. raspberry I can’t believe this crap has been on the telly that long. Maybe a good man hug will help.

    • Mister S says:

      05:25pm | 10/04/12

      When’s the episode covering gay dwarf transsexual amputee incest paedo love?

    • Kaldors says:

      06:09pm | 10/04/12

      The Kapoor family isn’t the first time the ‘hideously white’ issue has been addressed. There was Sunny Lee (Hany Lee), who was Korean, as well as Katya Kinski (Dichen Lachman, a Nepalese-Australian actor). There has been a range of small parts played by Asian actors over the years. This kiss episode features Andrew kissing an Asian girl, Summer also met a snobby Asian girl at the University’s orientation week. Plenty of characters aren’t Anglo Saxon despite critics often claiming that all the cast are: Chris is Greek, Emilia and Tash are Serbian.

      Also, ‘Neighbours’ on eleven is not PG rated - it is still G rated. It would be possible to show a PG show on eleven at that time, however ‘Neighbours’ is actually still G rated.

    • Nathan Explosion says:

      06:45pm | 10/04/12

      Dichen Lachman! Her and Eliza Dushku kept me glued to Dollhouse.

    • Nathan Explosion says:

      06:48pm | 10/04/12

      Personally, I think the most homoerotic show of the last few years has been Sherlock.

      I was wondering what would happen first; Sherlock and John pashing on, or Moriarty molesting Sherlock.

    • Sam says:

      08:44pm | 10/04/12

      The footy show is far more homoerotic

    • Garry says:

      07:17pm | 10/04/12

      I am just about sick and tired of hearing about homosexuals, homosexual marriages, homosexual this and homosexual that, illegal boat people being welcomed by the ever, look at me Sarah Hanson-Young. Oh wait a minute this could just be another episode for all the brain dead sheep to watch !

    • Pat says:

      03:37am | 11/04/12

      Garry: Consider something for just one second For centuries, homosexuals have been sick , just having to shut up and listen to nothing but all the innane goings-on of heterosexuals?
      As it is said “Fair suck of the sauce bottle, mate ! ”

    • Lauren says:

      07:54pm | 10/04/12

      I don’t watch Neighbours but had I known there would be some gay action going on I may have changed my mind.

      Two attractive men getting their pash on? Yes please.

    • Craig McDonald says:

      09:36pm | 10/04/12

      @Tommy - I don’t want Neighbours or any other TV show to start filling token roles to various ethnicities or orientations, but to say that gays are statistically insignificant? Now that’s puerile.
      From where do you get your figures? It’s been generally accepted since the 50’s that 10% of the population identifies as LGBT.

    • Smulder says:

      09:33am | 11/04/12

      Actually Craig, where do you get your figures?

      The claim that 10% of the population identifies as gay comes from one report, the Kinsey report, written in 1948. This is a report that has been routinely debunked.

      Census data across numerous Western countries consistently puts the figure at between 1.2% and 3% for males. less for females.

      Also, see this report

      http://www.latrobe.edu.au/ashr/papers/Sex In Australia Summary.pdf

      the largest report of its kind done in Australia, which puts the figure at 1.6%

      So in fact, Tommy is correct, and his statement is far from puerile. Just because you want something to be true, doesn’t make it so.

    • Neo says:

      07:50am | 11/04/12

      Thankyou The Punch, for unintentionally exposing the fact that Multicultralism is a hate ideology directed against people of European decent.
      Quote: “The show was even described by Britain’s anti-racism watchdog as “hideously white”. A “problem” they only really addressed in February”

      This “problem” will only be solved when Anglo countries are ” multikultied” on a massive scale, which is considered a form of genocide by the United Nations.  Lets see if this is censored by the Punch watchdog thought crime police.

    • John says:

      09:30am | 11/04/12

      Britain is a Trotskyite society, extreme far-left. This why they have excessive levels of multiculturalism, immigration and political correct laws. White’s have already fled from London, they basically be replaced with white immigrants from Poland and other european nations. In time, these white immigrants will flee and London will collapse. Without the Hideously white people of London, London could not function.

    • FWg says:

      09:04am | 11/04/12

      If you watch crap shows like this you must be a utterly brain dead, for God’s sake get a life.

    • JBJ says:

      10:05am | 11/04/12

      Actually Lucy Kippist,
      Neighbour has had gay relationships on the show in the past. There was a lesbian couple 7 years ago. Neighbours is not behind, nor are they ahead, they just are, please find something worth writing an Opinion column about and do some research into it so you don’t make yourself look like a first year uni student.

    • JBJ says:

      10:05am | 11/04/12

      Actually Lucy Kippist,
      Neighbours has had gay relationships on the show in the past. There was a lesbian couple 7 years ago. Neighbours is not behind, nor are they ahead, they just are, please find something worth writing an Opinion column about and do some research into it so you don’t make yourself look like a first year uni student.

    • Norm says:

      07:08am | 17/04/12

      Why does Neighbours rabbit on about bloody AFL and Rugby League gets no mention at all, its very discriminatory and it blows!

    • daviddaum says:

      07:32pm | 05/06/12

      The average person is also ‘hideously ugly.’ So why is it that everyone on neighbours is either handsome or pretty… Shouldn’t their faces represent the average make up of the population? Why is Ringo so hot? Why can’t we instead have a socially awkward, hunched, pimple faced, skinny neck, loser? Why not? Because people don’t want to see it, that’s why.

      In the same way, no one cares if an Indian, black or Chinese family happens to occupy one of the houses in Ramsay street. To quote a philanderer ,’ judge one by their content of their character, not their skin color.’

 

Facebook Recommendations

Read all about it

Punch live

Up to the minute Twitter chatter

Recent posts

The latest and greatest

The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more

28 comments

Newsletter

Read all about it

Sign up to the free News.com.au newsletter