It’s actually a pretty American phenomenon that musical theater and belting out ballads is considered “gay.” Go anywhere else in the world, even parts of Europe and Southeast Asia, and singing show tunes and pop numbers carries no homo attachment. (Also, see: Bollywood.) So it makes sense that you can take a show like Glee, considered in the U.S. to be among television’s gayest, and bring it to Chile without much thought about whether viewers will point at all those fey kids singing to Britney Spears and find a problem with a lack of machismo. That doesn’t mean, however, that all parts of Glee are acceptable. (Update: A Chilean viewer and Glee webmaster writes in to counter this report.)
After all, the show features plenty of openly gay characters. What to do about them? Jose, a Queerty reader in Chile, writes us:
Here the Catholic Church has a open TV network. Lots of money. Higher ratings. Since last year, to revamp de schedule, they’ve [started airing] Glee. They did a campaign with our local stars doing the “L” thing on their foreheads. They got the Glee fever.
But Rachel doesn’t speak about her “dads.” She speaks ins Spanish about her “dad.” [...] This channel in the news is totally anti-gay rights. So Glee is in part giving this channel lots of ratings and credibility [Ed: and profits].
(Indeed, Chile’s Channel 13/Canal 13, where Glee airs, is known also by its full corporate name, Corporación de Televisión de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and is heavily influenced by the Church. Except then pops up this news report about the Church selling the network.)
And Jose beat us to our next obvious question: “What will happen with Kurt’s boyfriend or lesbian cheerleading scenes? What would [show creator] Ryan Murphy say?”
Moreover, what happens when Chile’s airings of the show catch up to the U.S., where Murphy is set to unveil Rachel’s gay dads? (Perhaps with one played by John Barrowman?) Or, better question: How will they handle the show’s recent episode that was all about god?
Creative editing, that’s how.
Meanwhile, here’s how Kurt’s character is profiled in Chile:
UPDATE: Because we can’t view the Chilean version of Glee here in the U.S., I’ve been relying on reader reports. Here’s another claiming Glee is not de-gayed at all.
Hi there dear Queerty Staff,
I’m Camila, I’m chilean and I run www.gleechile.com / www.twitter.com/gleechile / gleechile.tumblr.com / community.livejournal.com/gleechile
As a Chilean, and a fan of Glee, I was really surprised to see “How Chile Managed to De-Gay Glee: Rachel Doesn’t Have 2 Daddies” published, not because I don’t think news like this are irrelevant, but because it is completely false.
As the owner of all GleeChile accounts I download Glee (aired episodes in USA) and watch the series in the three channels that air the show in my country: Fox Latin America, Canal 13 and UCV TV. Why? because we comment the episodes via twitter. As a person who have watch the show MANY times, I was really surprised to find someone saying that Canal 13 edits the episodes, because -surprisingly- they didn’t. Yes, one of the biggest fears of Chilean fans was the possible cuts that the series would have not precisely in the storyline related to Rachel and her two dads, but to Kurt. Canal 13 sent a letter to newspapers and even to the official Fans Club in Chile stating that they wouldn’t edit Glee because that would be failing to emit the real message of the series: acceptance.
I hope you erase the news from your web:
1.- Because it is COMPLETELY false, and even the photo posted from the web doesn’t belong to Canal 13, it was the description of Kurt that the web of FOX Latin America had during the time that the first 13 episodes were aired.
2.- I feel it contributes to expand misconceptions, prejudices and generalization about Chileans. No, not all of us are extreme catholics who hate gays; actually especially online new generations of Chileans (me included) try to expand concepts such as inclusion, acceptance and equality.