It’s A Sin star Lydia West says that the backlash to the programme’s sex scenes shows that there is “so much work to be done”.
West stars in Russell T Davies’s series as Jill Baxter, an actor and campaigner who lives with a group of young men throughout the HIV and Aids crisis of the 1980s.
While the show has been widely praised for its depiction of life in this time period, a minority of viewers have expressed outrage at the number of sex scenes taking place on the show.
Appearing on the Make It Reign podcast, West said that the backlash was an extension of historical attitudes to gay people during the time of the Aids crisis.
“What’s interesting is that sex at the time was so liberating and so fun and people were living their truth, having sex and having a great time,” she said.
“Then suddenly the vocabulary that was associated with sex was Aids and that carried on through the 90s and into the 00s.”
Some fans of the show pointed out that while It’s a Sin’s sex scenes have been called “shocking”, similar moments in Netflix’s Bridgerton – taking place between heterosexual couples – were called “racy”.
West continued: “I think it just shows just how much work there is still to do on banishing homophobia, transphobia, biphobia. There’s still just so much work to be done. That is very much the jobs of allies to do.”
Earlier this month, it was announced that It’s A Sin had broken several viewership records at Channel 4, becoming the most-binged series ever on streaming service All 4.
In its first two weeks, the show was watched more than 6.5 million times, making it All 4’s third biggest series to date.
The five-episode series stars Olly Alexander, Omari Douglas, Nathaniel Curtis and Callum Scott Howells.