Lesbian on Skins USA: Is MTV’s Skins Swapping Out Gay Maxxie For Lesbian “Tea”?


When MTV announced they’d be shooting a remake of the British series Skins, the response was a mix of fear and excitement. In April, Racialicious debated Skins USA’s potential, mentioning that the gay character Maxxie would become a “Latino named Teo.” Furthermore:

Skins runs on Channel 4’s subscription channel E4 and contains a fair amount of nudity, including full frontal and rear for women and, rarely, men as well. That’s not to forget the almost constant parade of drugs on the show. The first few episodes, really the first season, is downright dirty — in probably half the episodes a character vomits from inebriation or intoxication. Don’t watch it while eating.

Can MTV handle all this? Perhaps. For me, the most classic primetime guilty pleasure from MTV was Undressed, but by Skins standards, Undressed is about as racy as Grey’s Anatomy.

MTV shot the U.S. version of the pilot in Baltimore in February, which MTV picked up for ten episodes. The series will begin shooting “in earnest” in late July. According to “Sides” obtained by AfterElton.com, SKINS US Tumblr reported the following about Maxxie/Teo character:

No longer Maxxie, here the character is named Teo and he is described as “a beautiful, gay, Hispanic” boy. Like Maxxie, Teo is also very out and proud as well as being an amazing dancer.  The script for the pilot not only has Teo demonstrating his dancing skills, but taking his friends ChrisAbbud out to a gay club where they have less than a great time.

“Sides,” btw, are the sections of scripts offered to actors who are auditioning for the roles. Often pilot scripts get changed a whole bunch and therefore pilot sides aren’t always the best indication of how the show will turn out. But there’s one recent change that we think you should know about.

From what we can gather from the most recent sides we’ve seen, there is no Teo anymore.

Instead, there is a Tea.


Whereas some versions of the sides for Tony and other characters feature aforementioned “Teo,” we can’t seem to locate any sides for “Teo” himself. But there are sides for “Tea.” Check it:


Cheerleaders are rehearsing a stupid, but intangibly arresting routine in an otherwise empty hall. Track down the line of loveliness. Somewhere a phone is ringing.

CHEERLEADERS: (CHANTING) Roundview… We love you!!! Aha! Ahu! Love you, Roundview!! Say what?!! Say Huh!!! Say what! Say huh!! Say who! Roundview…!

The camera comes to rest on TEA (17), an unusual looking but nevertheless beautiful girl.
The CHEERLEADERS spin out into immaculately coreographed individual spins and group turns. TEA presses a BLUETOOTH RECEIVER. Cheerleader continues around her.

TEA: Hey Tony…
TONY: [PHONE] Forget the big gay night out Tea. We need you.
TEA: Sorry Tony, I promised Chris and Abs I’d take them on a voyage of wonder and discovery…


Intercut as necessary. TEA is momentarily free.

TEA: Need these moves… Gotta lotta Jocks need positive affirmation you know?
TONY: Yeah? could use some of that myself Te’… Know what i’m saying.
TEA: Dream on Stud… (CHANTING) PUSH it! Pull it! Push it! Uh Uhu… Uhu Uhu… !!!
TONY: Yeah…that works… Can we meet before Psychology? There’s plans.
TEA: Maybe. Gotta go. Big finish…
TONY: Always… You ever told those sweet girls you worship at the Candy shrine…?
TEA: Where would be the fun in that, Tony? Later.

Interesting, right?

Exhibit B: A shot of the U.S. cast has also made the rounds two months ago (via skins ftw)

For those of you unfamiliar with Series 1, this won’t make much sense, but we’ll give it a whirl.

Series 1 featured five male leads: Tony Stonem, Sid (“Stanley” in the US version), Anwar (“Abbud” in the US version), Chri and Maxxie (allegedly “Teo” in the US version) and three female leads: Jal (she will become Korean “Cho” in the U.S version), Michelle and Cassie (“Cadie” in the US version).

Some secondary female characters included Tony’s sister Effy, who also appeared in Cycle 2 as a lead, “Sketch” who was introduced in the second season and Abigail (Tabitha in the US version), an idiot who fucked Tony.

That picture? Four men and four women.

We’ve clearly got Stanley in the hat, Tony in the leather jacket, Chris in the hoodie — and then one more boy. The remaining alleged male leads are both “men of color,” and as television tends to do their ethnic casting seemingly at random (see: Sarah Shahi as Carmen De La Pica Morales, Janina Gavankar as Papi), it’s quite likely/possible that we’ve got Abbud up front there.

And who is that lovely girl in the plaid dress with the short hair, eh?

the only photo from SKINS US filming

The most recent dated script “revision” we’ve been able to track down is from Tony’s sides dated January 26, 2010, corresponding with a casting call “STILL SEEKING TONY.”  The new sides do not feature Teo. They do feature Tea. We’re unsure when Tea’s sides were released.

Hopefully, if this is true, Naomi & Emily won’t become Norm & Eddie when it comes time to cast Cycle 2!

From Variety:

“I think the way it works is you start like ‘The Office’ or like ‘Queer as Folk,'” Pattinson said. “You start quite close, and then as those start to work … they develop a personality and life of their own. I personally think the danger is to make too many radical changes to the format too early. We’ve been down that path with a couple of shows – it becomes a compromised format at that point.”

[Disclaimer: If someone else already picked up on this and we’re like really late to the game we’re sorry WE’VE JUST BEEN BUSY FIGHTING FOR EQUAL RIGHTS and you didn’t show up on google. Also if you report this story, please link back, so that we can look like idiots if we’re wrong instead of you. Grazi.]

Next Page: Skins Movie, Teen Stars of the WB, Adam Lambert’s GLAM NATION tour, NPR and more!

Pages: 1 2See entire article on one page

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our A+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining A+ and supporting the people who make this indie queer media site possible?

Join A+!


Riese is the 40-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in California. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3020 articles for us.


    • Agreed. I don’t really understand why an American version is necessary. If they were going to do it, couldn’t they at least have just restarted with new characters and story-lines rather than just cutting and pasting from the original?

      Sometimes I think that the stereotype that people from the US have trouble understanding/ having knowledge of other countries & cultures etc, is because American audiences are not given enough credit by network executives. How is that ever going to change if American audiences are mainly exposed to watered down/Americanised versions of things?

      Granted, this is me speaking as an Australian, and I am curious to hear what Americans think about this stuff. I just sometimes think that the people in charge don’t give you guys enough credit, and that only furthers the problem.

      • It’s because there’s a huge conservative evangelical Christian community in America that secretly controls the government and has a lot of feelings about the media and basically the entire far-right-wing conservative church network kicks into high gear and screams at God whenever there might be something on the television set on a channel at any given hour of the day for 20 seconds that might offend them or, more importantly, offend their children, their tiny babies with soft hair and love for jesus and their little jesus-loving baby laughs, these 20 seconds of offensive television cause these parents to beat their bibles towards the heavens, contact the FCC en masse (they are very much not busy, always at the ready for these types of things, consider it a priority) as if these 20 seconds are not totally avoidable, as if 20 minutes or 20 hours or even an entire channel of drugs and teenage sex and homosexuality and high-risk behavior is not something they could not just NOT WATCH, as if there aren’t like 5,000 other channels, video games, not to mention toys, games, books, playpens, daycare, school, and the great outdoors, as if they couldn’t possibly counterbalance the damaging effects of 20 minutes of teenage sex with things like “a strong relationship with their child” or “church,” as if there aren’t bigger problems, like poverty and hunger and the segregated us public school system and unemployment and depression, it is not because the people in charge dont’ give us enough credit, it’s because big business give big churches and conservative media watchdog groups too much credit, or often as it goes these big businesses are owned by bigger businesses and someone in one of those businesses is tied to someone or got money from someone who has one of those impressionable children liable to hurl their baby body at the television set at any moment, flipping maniacally towards 20 minutes of teenage sex and drugs and homosexuality, and then what happens, then what happens i ask you, ANARCHY IS WHAT HAPPENS, ANARCHY IS WHAT HAPPENS IF EFFY STONEM DOES DRUGS ON THE TV

  1. …um, so while I’m amused with the whole “Ruthie from Seventh Heaven makes out with a girl,” did hers really have to be the only half-naked picture? Everybody else gets a picture looking like people trying to have acting careers and hers looks like Church Girls Gone Wild.

  2. While I’ll agree that it won’t be as provocative, neither are many US-adapted shows in general. I think it will be successful, however, but that largely depends on the reception of the audience. I’ll still watch it whatever the case!

    Also! Sid (or Stanley) looks to be the one in the hoody while New-Chris is the one in the beanie. I’m judging based on hair haha.

    • Oh my gosh! I thought the same. I keep reading that “Sid” is the one with the beanie, while “New-Chris” is the one in the hoodie. It just seems wrong since Hoodie looks like Sid and Beanie looks like Old-Chris. It’ll drive me absolutely CRAZY if they reverse their appearances. Cross your fingers!

  3. I must say i don´t think the U.S. skins will be as good as the U.K. one. There is a lot of things americans do better then anyone but realistic dramas about wild and hedonistic teenagers aint one of those things.

    I don´t think skins is THAT extreme in it´s drug/sex depiction. But i guess i live a bit harder then most people.

    When there is nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire.

  4. I am happy that its a lesbian, but at the same time i do worry that they are going to make it guys for naomily. Almost like they feel like they can’t compete with it,(ppl would complain about how it isnt like the original etc) so they figure to tap into a different market. Or they are doing it just to be different. seriously i would be so angry if that happened.

  5. My TV boyfrand Adam Lambert’s Glam Nation tour, with gorgeous shredder Orianthi and now-legal spitfire Allison Iraheta as openers, is looking to be srsly epic. Here’s a couple vids from opening nite:

    Acoustic Whataya Want From Me:


    Sleepwalker (starting w/hott dancer interlude during Adam’s costume change)

    Oh, and here is Adam on the front of Frontiers Magazine looking so pretty it hurts. Feathers FTMFW!


  6. Pingback: Bullshiz! American Skins Changes Maxxie Character Into Lesbian! | Stacy Steele

  7. Pingback: Bullshiz! American Skins Changes Maxxie Character Into Lesbian! | bruno trani dot info

  8. Pingback: Bullshiz! American Skins Changes Maxxie Character Into Lesbian! |

  9. Pingback: Bullshiz! American Skins Changes Maxxie Character Into Lesbian! | Brazilian Blowout

  10. Pingback: Bullshiz! American Skins Changes Maxxie Character Into Lesbian! « Murder Manual

  11. Soooo, i think an American skins is absolutely ridiculous! It’s a british show.. and you can’t replace the beloved characters like Sid and Cassie, or Tony and Michelle. It going to be a horrible remake and it is just going to defeat the purpose and amazingness of Skins. I mean I understand why British people would be mad because there taking something of theirs.. but i’m American and this upsets me greatly as well! SO RIDICULOUS!! ):

  12. One of the actors on mtv’s skins goes to my school(the girl on the right side of the USA skins photograph of the cast). I know she will be playing a lesbian and that there is a lesbian kiss in the pilot episode.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!