Hats off to this ABC Family star for getting YouTube to unrestrict ‘The Fosters’ gay kiss
Internet age restrictions are usually more of a “suggestion” than anything (see: all the middle schoolers on Facebook), but YouTube is one of the few places on the web that really makes an effort to lay down clear age restrictions, which is fair — except, it was used to keep a landmark LGBTQ moment in TV history blocked from the clip’s intended target audience.
We wrote about the historic kiss on ABC Family’s The Fosters back when it first happened, but for those of you who don’t watch the show (and if you do: spoiler alert), one of the most endearing relationships on the show comes courtesy of Jude and Connor, aka #Jonnor, two 13-year-old boys who made history when they landed one of the youngest ever same-sex smooches on U.S. television history.
Unfortunately, someone at YouTube didn’t think that the scene was appropriate for young audiences, despite the totally innocent way it plays out. When an under-18 fan reached out to Gavin MacIntosh, who plays Connor on the show, about why the clip was banned on the site, MacIntosh was deservedly angry, tweeting, “WHAT?! YouTube blocking #jonnor scene w/ age restrictions? 100% discrimination & homophobia! SO innocent compared to what’s on YouTube!” The word spread from there, with Fosters/Jonnor fans and media outlets alike calling YouTube out for their hypersensitive restriction.
YouTube has since taken off the age restriction on the video, but the fact that it was marked as inappropriate for teens at all is telling of the way some people still view LGBTQ relationships.
While The Fosters is home to many diverse relationships, the beauty of Jonnor is the fact that it’s so, well, normal: the relationship between the boys starts off as a crush, and then slowly takes its time to blossom into something more. It’s exactly the kind of relationship adults should use as an example for their kids, no matter their sexuality. So props to MacIntosh for sticking up for his character and what Jonnor means to fans of all backgrounds, and for fighting to give teens easy access to a positive representation of a queer teen romance.