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  1. ITV Report

Greek broadcaster under fire for cutting Downton gay kiss

Greek state television has come under fire for cutting a gay kiss out of Downton Abbey. Broadcaster NET said it was just playing by the rules because the time the programme was being broadcast.

A scene from ITV1's Downton Abbey Credit: ITV1

The ITV1 drama was given its Greek TV debut just after 10pm. Bosses said an unedited version would be shown in a later time slot.

The scene shows a kiss between a visiting duke and Downton's footman Thomas.

But some believe the broadcaster may have come under pressure to drop the scene.

Dimitris Papadimoulis, from the main Greek opposition party Syriza, says NET may have caved in to a request from the far-right Golden Dawn party or religious authorities.

As incredible as it may seem for a democratic country in the 21st century, officials of the NET television channel censored the scene of a kiss between men from the TV drama Downton Abbey. This is of course an obvious case of censorship, an extreme act of homophobia and discrimination which unfortunately, after what has been happening recently, we cannot characterize as unprecedented.

– SYRIZA party

Greece has seen an upsurge in right-wing extremism since elections in June ushered the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn party to parliament for the first time in its history.

The love affair between the two men was not censored. The kiss was not shown because of the time the programme was broadcast and the corresponding parental guidance warnings.

– Costas Spyropoulos, managing director of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation