Glee creator Ryan Murphy has defended this week’s teen sex episode.
In the episode named The First Time, Rachel (Lea Michele) loses her virginity to boyfriend Finn (Corey Monteith), but in a move that has been seen as groundbreaking, gay couple Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine (Darren Criss) do the same.
Speaking about the storyline, Murphy told Entertainment Weekly: “We were talking about it like, ‘Why shouldn’t [Kurt and Blaine] lose their virginity at the same time?’
Everybody sees a straight couple losing their virginity, but has anyone dovetailed the gay and straight stories and given them equal weight? That seemed like an exciting choice and a new thing.
He added that the actors involved were all conscious about their bedroom scenes, saying: “The first thing they all said was, ‘Do we have to go on diets?'”
The episode has attracted criticism from the Parents Television Council who issued a statement condemning the episode: “The fact that Glee intends to celebrate children having sex is reprehensible. The gender of the high school characters is irrelevant.”
Murphy however has stuck to his guns, hoping that in a year when gay bullying and teen suicides have grabbed headlines, the show can provide a positive message. He said: “I think what it says to a lot of young gay people who are confused and ashamed is that you can get love and are worthy of love.”
Actor Colfer admitted that he had been nervous about the story, but said: “We got a little scared when we first found out, but when we got the script of course it was fine. Everything that I thought would scare me and make me cringe was sweet and emotional. I think it’s a huge deal that this is the first time something like this has been shown on television, but I think it’s handled so delicately and sweetly that I don’t think it will have quite the shock factor that people are thinking.”
The First Time aired last night in the US and goes out in the UK tomorrow (November 10) in the UK on Sky1 at 9pm.