American Gods has released its third episode today, and with it one of the most explicit gay sex scenes ever shown on television. The Starz fantasy series sees depressed salesman Salim Omid Abtahi finds himself in a cab driven by a jinn — who you might call a genie, an ancient Arab god. Mousa Kraish plays the centuries-old taxi driver and the two connect. The scene begins Salim kept waiting in an office wearing an ill-fitting suit and a box of trinkets to sell.
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On the third episode of the Starz fantasy series, a depressed salesman named Salim Omid Abtahi is struggling to make a dime in New York when he finds himself in a cab driven by a jinn, an ancient Arab god whom most Americans might colloquially call a genie. Played by Mousa Kraish, the centuries-old jinn finds kinship with Salim, and what begins as an intimate taxicab conversation about faith transforms into a daring and important sex sequence — and, at its core, a love story — between both men. He recalled writing the scene 18 years ago, inspired by a New York cab driver who did, in fact, fall asleep at the wheel and admit to having been driving for 30 straight hours. The idea that some guy, in order to make a buck, was that pushed. It was this really interesting part of Arab culture that I had never thought about, that I was learning about. And that had sort of stuck. But more importantly, they laud the filmmakers and Gaiman not just for the beauty of the eroticism, but for the representation onscreen.
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Is 'Selling Sunset' Fake? Chrissy Teigen Questions if Agents are Real. Back in episode 1, we saw Bilquis, in a rather eye-popping sex scene of her own, finding men to worship her in whatever way she can.
Every decision maker in the room for the initial shoot was hetero: actors Omid Abtahi and Mousa Kraish, and director David Slade. They meant well, really. All of them were veterans of the screen trade and had been tasked with bringing to life one of the most tender and erotic sections of the Neil Gaiman novel upon which the Starz series is based. In it, an Omani salesman and a djinn — one of a group of supernatural entities whose roots lie in pre-Islamic Middle Eastern spiritual traditions and who appear frequently in the Koran — make love in a New York City hotel room. Salim has already come twice in this time.