Italy’s Rai network will re-air an episode of How To Get Away With Murder after fans on Twitter realized a gay love scene between Jack Falahee and Conrad Ricamora had been edited out completely.
The Hollywood Reporter notes the scene is crucial to the pilot episode’s main plot, as it shows how Connor (Jack Falahee) gains access to sensitive case documents by sleeping with a tech guru named Oliver (Conrad Ricamora), who helps him hack into them.
The public outcry in response to the seemingly homophobic edit (other heterosexual sex scenes were included in the episode) grew when series star Jack Falahee, writer/creator Pete Nowalk, and executive producer Shonda Rhimes expressed their disappointment on Twitter.
— Pete Nowalk (@petenowalk) July 9, 2016
Nowalk tweeted a video including the deleted scene and wrote, “Italian viewers, here is the Coliver scene as we intended you to see it: #HTGAWM.”
Damn, this is crazy. https://t.co/H3EwwkU0MJ
— Jack Falahee (@RestingPlatypus) July 9, 2016
“Damn, this is crazy,” said Falahee, who included a link to the scene side-by-side with the American version, which cuts to the steamy sequence between Connor and Oliver:
— Matteo Mizzoni (@Diconoche) July 8, 2016
Shonda Rhimes added: “Censorship of any love is inexcusable.”
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) July 9, 2016
Rai’s official Twitter account responded to Rhimes, saying: “True @shondarhimes. An integral version of the episode is scheduled to air tomorrow at 9 pm on @Rai2. #LoveisLove #htgawm.”
— Ufficio Stampa Rai (@Raiofficialnews) July 9, 2016
In a separate statement, RaiDue director Ilaria Dallatana attributed the edit to an overzealous editor and praised HTGAWM for encouraging tolerance among the Italian public.
“Even these controversies help us to take the right steps for the future,” said Dallatana. “As demonstrated by our new programming schedules, RaiDue will be increasingly sensitive to the complexity of the contemporary world.”