Back in December, we told you that Australian soap Home and Away‘s policewoman Charlie Buckton (played by Esther Anderson) was about to come out of the closet.
According to the official website for the show, Buckton will soon be developing a romance with recurring character Joey Collins (played by Kate Bell).
The Home and Away site even has a special page devoted to the couple, with the following commentary:
Joey has been keeping her sexuality secret, especially from her older brother Brett and after being sexually attacked by lowlife Robbo, she is terrified that details of her personal life will become public. Police Officer Charlie Buckton is determined to make Robbo pay for his actions and takes Joey under her wing.
Charlie has not had an easy run with boyfriends recently, so she is very confused when she realizes that Joey’s friendship is developing into something more meaningful.
Let us know if you think this storyline is too controversial, or if you think it is good that Home and Away tackles a wide range of issues. Write to the Got Something To Say page.
The reader comments on the page are positive (and include several by LGBT viewers), but some conservative groups are, naturally, not happy about the storyline.
The Herald Sun recently ran an article quoting Pro-Family Perspectives director Angela Conway as saying, "They (Home and Away) continue to market to kids and they continue to develop quite sexualized plot lines. The plot lines that young kids and teenagers should be presented with should be about really authentic relationships that are not just sexualized.”
Apparently, her objection is aimed at the consensual relationship between Buckton and Collins, not at the sexual assault of Collins by "lowlife Robbo." Go figure.
Star Anderson is defending the storyline, and is quoted by the Herald Sun as saying that the lesbian kissing scene “wasn’t that big a deal.”
As for corrupting young viewers with lesbian content, Anderson also said, “You learn pretty much everything at school. I don’t think it’s like I’m lifting the lid on something they don’t already know about. To me there’s no difference – love’s love. The fact that your partner’s the same sex is no different. You just want to be loved.”
Esther Anderson and Kate Bell
The paper also reports that Buckton and Collins will "share a dance and a kiss, and over the following five weeks their relationship blossoms into love."
But will the relationship last beyond five weeks?
AE reader Morgann reported to us that Home and Away producer Cameron Welsh told the Australian magazine TV Week that a "loved central character" would have a controversial same sex love affair, and that the character would eventually settle into a happy long-term relationship.
But will that relationship be with a same sex partner? I guess we’ll have to wait and find out.
Welsh told TV Week, "Sometimes you can have a gay character or something that is a little salacious. But this isn’t going to be like that. It will be very honest story telling.”
For now, Home and Away‘s official website features a special gallery of photos of the "Great Couples" on the show. Do you think Charlie and Joey will soon be featured there among their heterosexual counterparts?