'The Fosters' Historic Same-Sex Kiss Was Age-Restricted On Youtube & That's Straight-Up Crazy
It's long been an underrated family drama, but The Fosters did something especially important in its most recent season when they followed through with further exploration of the youngest Foster siblings' sexuality. As Slate pointed out, it's been a relatively rare portrayal of queer childhood. And recently, a video of a kiss between that youngest foster sibling (Hayden Bryerly's Jude) and another young man (Gavin MacIntosh's Connor) was age-restricted on Youtube, according to MacIntosh. It's the sort of thing that highlights just how necessary these stories really are.
Let's make this as clear as possible: The age-restricted scene in question involves a kiss between the characters Jude and Connor, both 13, and was an important part of the slow burn that's played at the center of Jude coming into his sexuality. It's a storyline that's been playing out since the show's first season, but which has only really become a central focus point in the most recent season that wrapped up March 23. The kiss was a major moment — both for shippers of Jude and Connor and for everything this arc works to represent. And so when it came to MacIntosh's attention that a Youtube video of the kiss was blocked to users under 18, it's understandable that he was upset. As he tweeted:
WHAT?! @Youube blocking #jonnor scene w/ age restrictions? 100% descrimination & omophobia! SO innocent compared to what's on Youtube!
@Youtube Your supporting HATE groups by blocking
The tweets have since been deleted and the age-restriction lifted, but the fact that this video was ever restricted in the first place doesn't sit right:
For reference, here's how Variety describes the age restriction process:
Reasons listed for an age restriction include “vulgar language, violence and disturbing imagery, nudity and sexually aggressive content and portrayal of harmful or dangerous activities.”
YouTube users typically identify videos that may violate policies by flagging them, and the Google team reviews the videos after they’re reported to make the decision. Account owners may also restrict their own videos.
It's entirely possible, then, that Youtube administrators were not the ones who made the decision to restrict the video. But regardless of who did, it raises questions of why this was seen as a scene that required any blockage at all. What I see is two young adolescents sharing an incredibly innocent kiss, as millions of adolescents their age do every day — there is nothing here to suggest it's something that couldn't or shouldn't be seen by people of all ages. Heck, there's nothing to suggest it wouldn't fit right into a G-rated movie. And in fact, it should be celebrated — widely and loudly and in public.
Now if only the world would let us enjoy this sweet storyline without butting in with its baggage.
Image: ABC Family