Russell T Davies, the man behind Queer as Folk, the 2005 revivial of Doctor Who and the new UK gay drama Cucumber, talks in a new interview with The Telegraph about the appaling lack of male nudity on television today:
“There is not enough male frontal nudity on TV,” he says. “You’re far more likely to see a naked woman than a naked man. It’s only [seen as] rude because the rest of television is rather tame – it doesn’t actually talk about sex and our bodies and how we feel about them. I’m not out to shock.”
Davies also discussed his desire to bring more diverse gay realities to the screen, which he is helping accomplish with Cucumber's main star Henry (played by Vincent Franklin, pictured below) who has a fear of anal sex.
“It’s one of the great unspoken truths about gay life which is completely true,” explains the 51-year-old Davies. “Gay culture is seen to be all about anal sex, yet an awful lot of men have a fear of it and there is a silence about it. It’s the one thing I can’t wait for transmission for, to see if people stand up and say, 'That’s me.'"
Check out the full interview here in which Davies also dives into how he would like to see homosexuality addressed in action films and children's entertainment.
Cucumber airs tonight on the UK's Channel 4. Check out a trailer for the show, AFTER THE JUMP…
So how would Davies go about making gay life standard on screen? He would like to see homosexuality addressed in action films (“Could Iron Man not have a gay friend?”) and, more controversially, in children’s films. In fact, the only time Davies becomes remotely heated during our conversation is when talking about what he describes as a “nasty little gag” in Toy Story 3, when Barbie’s friend Ken posts a letter written in pink pen and covered in glitter and the other characters roll their eyes. “You can say it’s not appropriate to address sexuality in kids’ movies, but then why the Ken joke?’ he says. “I get wound up about children’s stuff, because if you’re visible to the young in a harmless and intelligent way, that will stop them developing homophobic attitudes.”
Though in many ways a sort of Cold Feet which ruminates on what it means to be gay and on the cusp of middle age, the drama looks at elements of gay life which have never made their way into mainstream drama. For example, from the outset, we learn that Henry has a fear of anal sex.
The only person Davies has ever heard speak publicly about it is Stephen Fry, in the October 2013 documentary Out There. “I was holding up my hands in horror at the screen, going ‘That’s my subject!’”
With these series Davies does not feel he is breaking taboos, merely trying to normalise certain aspects of life. Take the male form, for example.