A groundbreaking same-sex kiss on the ABC Family (!!!!!) show The Fosters has folks up in arms, and the show creators on the defensive with the media. The youngest gay kiss in TV history took place last week as 13-year-old friends Jude and Conner kissed after a long will-they-or-won’t-they build-up around their blossoming relationship. The Huffington Post reports that “while some were thrilled with the progressive and powerful message, others took to Twitter and bashed the show, calling it a ‘sin’ and ‘cultural suicide.'”
Show co-creators Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg defended the scene to TheWrap.
“When people question the scene my response has been: ‘Everyone has a first kiss and you remember it. How old were you?’ Ninety percent of people who have an answer come back and say, ‘I was 12, 13 and 14 years old,’ and I say, ‘Exactly. It was time to see this, time to put this up for the world,'” Bredeweg said. “Then people understand, they’re able to wrap their heads around it.”
“I would say its very easy to balk at or sensationalize the headline, but its hard to deny the truth or the integrity of the whole story,” Paige added. “We are here to tell the true stories of what it is to grow up and these are true stories of what it is to grow up as a young, potentially gay person. It’s the truth and that’s all.”
14-year-old Hayden Byerly, who plays Jude (and is straight in real life) says he came to terms with filming the gay kiss because of the impact it could have for viewers of the show, particularly for the LGBT community.
“It was very important to portray a character that is going through a struggle that so many people go through,” he said. “I want people to watch the show and see the struggle that Jude goes though and feel more comfortable about themselves; to feel like it doesn’t matter whether you are gay or straight or bisexual or transgender or whatever you are, that you are happy with who you are, and that you are accepting of yourself. My hope is that people watch the scene and they are happy to see something on television that represents them.”
Watch the scene below and decide for yourself: Sweet or sweeps bait?