A Greek Television channel has attracted criticism after it removed a scene from Downton Abbey that featured a gay kiss.

NET – owned by the country’s state broadcaster – has come under fire from the country’s main opposition party after removing the scene from the premiere episode of the period drama, reports The Guardian.

A statement by the Syriza party reads: “As incredible as it may seem for a democratic country in the 21st century, officials of the NET television channel censored the scene of a kiss between men from the TV drama Downtown Abbey.

“This is of course an obvious case of censorship, an extreme act of homophobia and discrimination which unfortunately, after what has been happening recently, we cannot characterise as unprecedented.”

The decision to remove the kiss between a visiting duke and footman Thomas was also slammed on Twitter by Greek Television viewers.

In response NET has denied censoring the kiss, insisting it was removed to comply with time slot regulations.

Costas Spyropoulos, managing director of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, said: “The love affair between the two men… was not censored,”

The kiss was not shown because of the time the programme was broadcast and the corresponding parental guidance warnings.”

Greek viewers can reportedly catch an unedited version of the episode late next Tuesday.

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