The BBC has stood by Strictly Come Dancing after it received complaints that the show’s first ever same-sex couple Katya Jones and Olympic boxer Nicola Adams depicted a ‘blatant projection of homosexuality’.
The performance that received complaints came during the finale show on 19 December, 2020. After withdrawing from the competition early in the series, following Jones testing positive for Covid, the duo returned for one last dance
Performing a tango to Muse’s Feelin’ Good, the routine was praised by viewers for its romantic elements, breaking out of the restrained “gal pal” and “besties at a club” routines that viewers had taken to social media to comment upon previously.
However, some felt that the performance was a ‘blatant projection of homosexuality’ and complained to the Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) about the BBC show.
Prior to her Strictly debut the Olympic boxer said: “If they don’t like it, they’re going to have to deal with it or switch to another channel.”
Commenting on complaints during the 2020 series, a BBC spokesperson said:
“Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and we are proud to have featured same-sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series. We are completely open to the prospect of including same-sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers in the future, should the opportunity arise.
Nicola Adams requested an all-female pairing, which we are happy to facilitate.”
“The show is first and foremost about dance, the sex of each partner within a coupling should have no bearing on their routine.”
It's not the first time the broadcaster has received criticism. Strictly professionals Johannes Radebe and Graziano di Prima made history in 2019 when they performed to Emeli Sande’s romantic hit, Shine, which also prompted Ofcom complaints.
Speaking to Hello Magazine, Radebe said: “I’ve never felt so liberated. For the first time in my life, I feel accepted for who I am. That says so much about the people of this country.
“To be able to dance with a friend I respect and adore is joyous. There’s bromance galore between us, but there were no male and female roles, just free movement. It was beautiful, classy and elegant.”
However to some, watching the sight of two men dancing together left them feeling “offended.”
As a result, nearly 300 people complained to the BBC. However, the BBC’s recent complaints report has revealed that none of these complaints will be upheld, according to The Gay Times
Prior to the 18th series of Strictly, rival ITV dance show Dancing On Ice'sMatt Evers and Ian 'H' Watkins from Steps, became the first same-sex couple to be paired together on a UK competitive reality show.