Sook-Yin Lee. Promotional photo for CBC's Definitely Not the Opera.A few days ago I heard on the news that Sook-Yin Lee was approached about doing a naughty photo shoot for a naughty magazine, but CBC said they’re fire her if she did it. I didn’t think much of it at the time and just filed it away as an interesting tid-bit.

Imagine my surprise when last night, knowing nothing about it beforehand, I sat down to watch the movie Shortbus and only a minute into it I see Sook-Yin herself getting eaten out on a piano. The scene quickly progressed to all manner of graphic (as in pornographic) kama sutra like acrobatics, intersperced with someone trying out a little autofellatio and another being put in his place by a dominatrix. Not exactly CBC approved material, no doubt.

It wasn’t any surprise when I did a little searching around the internet about the movie. As it turns out, CBC threatened to fire Sook-Yin back in 2003 when she took this role as well. It was only through much pressure from other musicians, actors, and artists, as well as the public, that they backed down. I don’t know if she’d get the same support for a pornographic spread in Playboy, though. (If that’s even what it was. I don’t remember the details, so the offer might have been more tame than that.)

That is was Sook-Yin, who I wake up to and spend every Sunday afternoon with via CBC’s Definitely Not the Opera, made it feel like I was watching a friend go through her trials and tribulations on screen. Is that creepy? Maybe. But I already felt a connection with a lot of the characters, seeing a bit of me in all of them. Maybe that’s also a bit creepy. But that’s what good movies should do, right?

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