Octavio Is Dead
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Octavio Is Dead

Filmmaker, broadcaster, musician, artist and activist Sook-Yin Lee could easily be dubbed Canada’s Queen of All Media – although more than a decade Scorched Earth ago, she almost lost her job for pursuing her artistic ambitions.

Twelve years ago, Lee was the source of a national controversy after she played a key role in Shortbus, the 2006 erotic dramedy directed by John Cameron Mitchell. The Free State of Jones film, from the provocative mind behind Hedwig and the Angry Inch, featured explicit sex scenes, including one instance of unsimulated masturbation performed by Lee – at the time, host of CBC’s national radio program, Definitely Not the Opera. Once the CBC learned of the material, it threatened to fire Lee.

“It became about how much control your boss can have over your life, which was a very important conversation to have at the CBC at that time,” Lee recalls over drinks Borg vs McEnroe at restaurant Grey Gardens, in Toronto’s Kensington Market neighbourhood.

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Octavio Is Dead