Brendan O’Carroll revealed he was offered a lot of money from Russia for the Russian rights to his series Mrs. Brown's Boys. The country wanted to remake the show, but part of the deal would mean one of the main characters, Rory, could not be gay.
“They didn’t want any gay [content], in Russia in particular," O'Carroll, who writes and stars in the show, explained. "[I]t was a nice little deal because it’s a big country, the fee you charge for licensing is audience related”
When Russian execs insisted “no gay, absolutely no gay” he replied: “well no gay, no show and that was it."
The comedy centers around Mrs. Brown (played by O'Carroll in drag), who is the bossy, quick-witted matriarch of an Irish family. She is often meddling in the lives of her children (four sons and a daughter) while taking care of her aging father-in-law.
Although Rory (played by Rory Cowan) is extremely camp in the show, Mrs. Brown is oblivious about his sexuality. He eventually comes out, and she tries to be as supportive as she can be (with a few lapses, mostly directed at Rory's boyfriend).
O'Carroll explained that Rory's sexuality is sometimes a sticky issue for other countries.
“Romania threatened it [to cut the gay characters], but then went ahead with it," he said. "What they’ve done is, the Rory character is the Rory character and he’s still gay, but they never mention that he’s gay. But it’s [still] Rory.”
O’Carroll, himself, has spoken out in support of the LGBT community. His real life sister Eilish O’Carroll, who plays best friend Winifred "Winnie" McGoogan in the series, came out as a lesbian in her forties.
He also made a video during the marriage equality referendum in Ireland in 2015, lending his voice to the Yes Equality campaign.
The character Rory is currently making news in the UK. After years of playing the role, Cowan decided to call it quits saying he had grown bored. His replacement, Damien McKiernan, was revealed during the 2017 Christmas special. His new look was explained by a trip to the plastic surgeon.
Curious about the show? You can check put the first few seasons on Netflix.