Normal People producers order Pornhub to remove pirated sex scenes

The producers of the hit TV series Normal People have issued Pornhub with a takedown request after sex scenes from the programme were uploaded to the porn site. According to Variety, a 22-minute compilation was uploaded to the website last week, but was later removed. However, footage is still available on other adult websites at the time of writing.

The programme’s executive producer, Ed Guiney, told the entertainment industry website that its makers were “hugely disappointed” to see the footage end up on a porn website, adding that it was “both a violation of copyright and more importantly, it’s deeply disrespectful to the actors involved and to the wider creative team”. Variety confirmed with Pornhub that the video had been removed following a takedown request.

In 2016, HBO issued copyright notices to adult websites over pirated sex scenes from Game of Thrones.

Normal People, based on the bestselling novel by the Irish writer Sally Rooney, has proved a TV hit during lockdown, delivering the best ever weekly ratings for BBC Three in the UK. Starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal, the 12-part drama tells the story of Marianne and Connell, whose secret high school romance goes on to define their adult lives.

The Irish national broadcaster RTÉ received 50 complaints about the sex scenes in the series. Lenny Abrahamson, who co-directed the series with Hettie Macdonald, has defended the scenes in an interview with the broadcaster, emphasising their “positive aspects”, and adding that they had been filmed “very sensitively”.

Speaking to the Guardian in April, the show’s intimacy co-ordinator, Ita O’Brien, described the “delicacy, the beauty, the openness of this incredible, something-other relationship. It was crucial for me to honour Sally’s writing. There is nothing gratuitous.”