conner how to get away with murder sex scene

Here in the United States, sex scenes are tame enough to make it onto network TV, but in Italy, a sex scene depicting a gay couple from ABC's popular drama How To Get Away With Murder didn't make the cut. Reports this weekend indicate that Italian Broadcaster Rai 2 actually edited footage of a sex scene between Conner and Oliver and aired the changed footage on Friday. The reason behind the edit is not because Italians dislike sex scenes. Instead the network is now saying "an excess of modesty" was the culprit behind the switcheroo.

Over the weekend, Rai 2 aired the pilot episode of How To Get Away With Murder in Italy. Some fans caught wind of the fact that an entire gay sex scene between longterm lovers Conner and Oliver was censored by the network, forcing the network to speak out and explain what happened. The network says that an employee who worked for the station decided to take it upon themself to cut the scene from the episode, without speaking to anyone about what they had done. As far as the censorship question goes, Rai 2 stated (via Corriere) that the channel was not trying to censor the scene but that an individual's judgment came into play thanks to that aforementioned excess of modesty. Here's a translation of the original statement:

There was no censorship, merely an excess of modesty due to individual sensitivity of those involved to package the edition of the series for the first time. I understand the irritation, but I would like to point out that after years and years of exclusively police Rai2 series has started to offer different content titles, such as [sic] Jane the Virgin, which is surrogacy. Even these controversies help us to take the right steps for the future. As demonstrated by the choices made for the new schedules, RAI-2 will be increasingly sensitive to the complexity of the contemporary world.

You can take a look at the difference between the scene that aired on US TV and the scene that aired on Italian TV, below.

The news blew up to the point that How To Get Away With Murder's creator, Shonda Rhimes, spoke out about what happened, noting that it was censorship and something that no network should stand for.

This isn't the first time that Rai has cut gay scenes from content it has aired. In fact, a few years ago, the company came under scrutiny for cutting all of the gay sex scenes out of an airing of Brokeback Mountain while keeping the heterosexual lovemaking scenes intact. It looks like the network hasn't changed too much in the time since.

Still, if what the station is saying is true, the act was less about the station making a statement and more about an employee making a choice that the network may not have. As the series moves forward in Italy, however, we shouldn't expect any more of the excellent moments between Conner and Oliver to get pushed on to the back burner.

How To Get Away With Murder will return to American television this fall. New episodes are expected to premiere as part of ABC's Shonda Rhimes-oriented Thursday nights on September 22 at 10 p.m. ET. You can find out what else the networks have coming up with our fall TV premiere schedule.

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