Home and Away introduces new gay character
IT'S 2018 - and Summer Bay has finally caught up with the times with the introduction of a new gay character, which has had mixed reactions from viewers.
In an episode that aired last night, actor Darius Williams' character Ty, leaned in to give his friend Ryder (Lukas Radovich) a kiss on the lips.
The kiss occurred after the two teen boys were having a conversation about their friendship.
"I like you, Ryder," Ty said.
"I like you too, man. You're the best!" Ryder said.
"You mean that?" Ty asked. He then made his move and kissed him on the lips before Ryder pulled away.
"I … I didn't mean…," Ryder said, before Ty ran off and said he was sorry before the scene ended and credits rolled.
Ryder then tries to talk to Ty the next morning, telling him it's okay, even though he is "confused".
Clearly embarrassed and struggling with his sexuality, Ty tries to tell him he didn't mean it, and he thought that Ryder was his girlfriend he's been seeing on the show called Raffy Morrison (played by Olivia Deeble).
Ty tells him: "I was tired, I wasn't really thinking straight. I thought you were Raffy."
But Ryder doesn't let him walk away and tells him that "whatever is going on, he's so cool with it".
"You kissed me and I can't just ignore that," Ryder said.
Ty then replies: "You think I'm gay, is that it?"
Ryder then says: "Are you? Cos it's ok if you …"
Ty then pushes him and tells him to "shut up".
Ty and Ryder then end up in a fight on the beach, before it is broken up by Raffy, Alf Stewart (Ray Meagher), Coco Astoni (Anna Cocquerel) and John Palmer (Shane Withington).
Ty goes back home with John, and can't find the words to explain what the fight was about.
He tells him: "I'm a freak".
Hours later, Ty runs away, leaving his girlfriend Raffy unaware of the personal struggle he's facing.
The scene is significant for Channel 7's popular TV soap drama, after a same-sex kiss between two girls Charlie (Esther Anderson) and Joey (Kate Bell) was edited out before being broadcast.
Viewers turned to social media after the episode aired to express their reactions to the emotional moment.
Many were supportive of Williams' portrayal of Ty and the way Ryder (Lukas Radovich) reacted on-screen.
Others were not so welcoming of the storyline, posting their feedback on the Home and Away Facebook page.
One person wrote that their family wouldn't be watching the show anymore, and another suggested producers chose the wrong storyline.
But they were met with positivity from the majority of fans who told them to "show some respect" and that "there is nothing wrong with being gay".
The storyline also comes as TV legend Magda Szubanski joined the cast of Neighbours to play the role of a celebrant for the first legal same-sex wedding on Australian TV since gay marriage was legalised in Australia.
Szubanksi plays Jemima Davies-Smythe, who will marry David Tanaka (Takaya Honda) and Aaron Brennan (Matt Wilson).
The episode has been filmed in Melbourne but will air on Channel 10 in the coming months.