7de Laan's gay kiss: So what's the big deal?

7de Laan's gay kiss: So what's the big deal?

The popular soap has delighted and disappointed with its decision to broadcast a gay kiss. But one has to ask, what is all the fuss about? 

7de laan gay kiss

Popular Afrikaans soapie 7de Laan has caused quite a stir with its decision to broadcast a first-ever gay kiss in one of its episodes.

Since Thursday's broadcast, social media has been abuzz with some viewers expressing support, while others were not quite as impressed. 

But independent television critic Thinus Ferreira, of @TVwithThinus fame, says the heated debate is no surprise, since it's the first time an Afrikaans soap has shown two men sharing a kiss. 

"It's not in the bigger scope of things the first time that it has happened on a local soap, and neither is it the first time that it's happening on the SABC. The public broadcaster, for all its faults, is actually quite progressive (in this regard)." 

READ ALSO: 7de Laan maak geskiedenis met eerste gay soen

Ferreira says programmes like Top Billing, Isidingo and Generations have all showcased gay couples in one way or another. 

But he does concede that 7de Laan is a unique case, due to the conservative nature of some of its viewers. 

"The viewership is obviously a little bit more conservative. The producers (Danie Odendaal Productions) would be mindful of the viewership, but it doesn't include just one type of viewer. TV channels and TV shows all do content market research, and they wouldn't have done this if they thought it would be a very big, permanent negative." 

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7de Laan has been going for 17 years and is due to celebrate its 4000th episode in the coming weeks. 

Ferreira says even though international shows have had gay storylines and characters for quite some time, the fact that the gay kiss happened on a local show would have had an influence on people's reactions. 

"When you see something (on an American TV show) you can still sort of, mentally, distance yourself if you say 'oh, but it's an American show'. It makes it more visceral if it's your own people. So I think it made it more jarring for viewers when they see it's Afrikaans people."  

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