Gay Brazilians are outraged by the apparent censoring of a kiss between two men on a soap opera.

The country’s television viewers were last week glued to their television sets to see if a much hyped kiss between two gay characters on a popular soap opera (or ‘telenovela’ as the genre is known in the region) would actually take place.

The series, titled America, was to have featured a smooch between the characters of Junior (the son of a rich ranch owner) and Zeca (a hired hand), but when the much anticipated episode in question was finally screened, no kiss was forthcoming.

The episode, which reportedly drew a larger audience than the Soccer World Cup, left fans feeling cheated and outraged. But no one is prepared to take the blame.

The show’s scriptwriter, director and actors say that the scene was filmed, something they fought for, and claim that the channel’s management cut the scene out of the show.

The TV Globo channel meanwhile denies this, stating that they broadcast the episode as it was given to them by the producers – and there was no kiss on the tape.

Whatever the truth, the show’s makers and the media have been surprised by how positively the majority of the audience has taken to the gay relationship. If the kiss had been shown, it would have been the first kiss between two men on Brazilian television.

Gay groups plan to converge on the capital Brasilia this week to perform a kiss-a-thon in protest.

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