Xena strikes out

The Lord is no lady-lovin' lady-lover

Hot on the heels of Hindu protests in India against Deepa Mehta’s lesbian-themed film Fire, comes complaints from Hindu and yogic groups over the queer “inference” in an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess.

Global Television, which airs the TV program in Canada, axed the offending episode last month, showing a re-run in its place. But a spokesperson for the station claims the decision was made due the show’s violence, rather than to the religious objections.

Entitled “The Way,” the episode featured Xena calling upon Hindu deity Lord Krishna to assist her in rescuing Gabrielle, her blonde sidekick and, according to many a dyke, domestic partner. Portraying Lord Krishna as aiding the lesbian-in-all-but-name couple, and therefore condoning homosexuality, enraged many devotees. “It has lesbian inference,” Merril Lobel of the Canadian School Of Meditation told The Globe And Mail.

But Shea Warrington, senior Global publicist, denies that the religious groups’ complaints were behind the cancellation of the episode. “A week before we even heard of the controversy, we decided not to air the episode because it was extremely violent, more so than in the usual shows,” she says. “By the time we received complaints, the show had already been cancelled.”

Rachel Giese is a deputy national editor at The Globe and Mail and the former director of editorial at Xtra. She lives in Toronto and is an English speaker.

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