Less than a week after a Schitt's Creek billboard went up in Los Angeles openly celebrating a kiss between two men, creator and star Dan Levy rebuked UK television channel 4Music for editing out same-sex moments from the series.
Over the weekend, Twitter user AshThenRuby noticed at least two scenes in Season 4 involving Levy's pansexual character David that had been oddly cut short: one missing a line about David and his now-fiancé Patrick sleeping together, and another in the following episode missing a quick kiss between David and Jake, a polyamorous and sexually fluid character.
This raised concerns among Schitt's Creek fans that open discussion of queer relationships may have been deemed "inappropriate" by 4Music executives.
"Are they limiting my gay content?" AshThenRuby tweeted. "Can I only see PG-rated kissing boys, but no talk of having sex? And no other boy can come along kissing on them?"
Levy was quick to call out 4Music on Twitter, sharing footage of the David/Jake kiss having been edited out. "Aside from this censorship being highly disturbing and dangerous, it was a big laugh in the scene!" he said. "This is very disheartening."
Monday morning, 4Music responded to Levy and publicly tweeted about the omission, saying it was "100% human error."
"We do often edit shows for different time slots and David’s kiss with Jake was inadvertently lost from the episode that we played," the company said. "This will be sorted for all future broadcasts of this episode." So far, 4Music has not addressed the line cut from the David/Patrick scene.
Levy thanked the network for acknowledging the error, but continued to press them on how the episodes were altered. "The human that edited out that content did make a very dangerous error," he said. "I'm glad and relieved that this is going to be fixed. Presumably across all platforms/including the other David/Patrick scene that was trimmed from S4E1?"
Levy has frequently spoken out against censoring intimate same-sex moments on TV and in movies. In November, he called out Delta airlines on Twitter when he noticed a gay love scene was still missing from the Elton John biopic Rocketman, despite the airline's earlier promise to restore it. Meanwhile, the nudity and violence of Gone Girl playing a few seats away had only been blurred.
In a January 2019 interview with The Advocate, Levy expressed his frustration at how same-sex moments are still approached by many TV executives.
"I know that in writer's rooms across North America there are still conversations about how much is too much when it comes to intimacy between, in my case, two men," he said. "That's an insane conversation to be having. Like, 'How many times can we show them kissing on air?' We're going to show them kissing as many times as we damn well please. They're in a relationship. If I'm going to walk into a store that I own with my boyfriend, I'm going to kiss him hello. That's what people do. That's what straight couples do. That's what this couple is going to do."