The global takeover of Mrs Brown’s Boys hit something of a stumbling block as the show was set to head to Russia. A deal had been struck to air the programme in the country, but with one caveat that its creator, Brendan O’Carroll, firmly rejected.
In an interview with RTE Radio 1, O’Carroll revealed that the condition of the show being aired in Russia was that the character of Rory was cut. The reason? They didn’t want a gay character on their screens.
“It was a nice little deal, it’s a big country so the fee you’d charge for the licensing is audience-related, so it’s a big audience and it would have been a nice fee”, O’Carroll said. “But no gay, absolutely no gay. So I said ‘no gay, no show’. And that was it”.
Whatever you think of the show, you have to say: good for him.
Russia wasn’t the only country to raise objections to the character of Rory. When rights to the show were being sold to Romania, the same request was made. O’Carroll stood his ground again, and the show made it in tact to Romanian screens.
It’s an interesting approach Russian television seems to have, then. Gay characters? No. A man playing the mother of his real-life wife? Absolutely fine. Funny old world.
The interview, as reported by Metro, is here.