image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionActress/cosplayer Diana Terranova dressed as Harley Quinn (right) with a cosplayer dressed as Batman at the Warner Bros and DC Comics Super Hero World Record event in Hollywood in 2018

The creators of the adult animated Batman spin-off series Harley Quinn have said DC Comics bosses vetoed their idea to include a graphic sex scene.

The HBO Max show centres around the titular DC Comics villain, voiced by The Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco.

But it was a suggested liaison between lovers Batman and Catwoman that was deemed inappropriate, as the characters had been originally aimed at children.

The show's creator said publishers were worried about the superheroes' brands.

In an interview with Variety, Justin Halpern, Harley Quinn co-creator and executive producer said it was "incredibly gratifying and free" to focus more on villains rather than heroes on the Harley Quinn series "because you just have so much more leeway".

'Heroes don't do that'

"A perfect example of that is in this third season of Harley [when] we had a moment where Batman was going down on Catwoman," he said. "And DC was like, 'You can't do that. You absolutely cannot do that.'"

He added: "They're like, 'Heroes don't do that.' So, we said, 'Are you saying heroes are just selfish lovers?'

"They were like, 'No, it's that we sell consumer toys for heroes. It's hard to sell a toy if Batman is also going down on someone.'"

Halpern and his co-creator Patrick Schumacker went on to tell the US publication that aside from rejecting the above scene, DC Comics had been "remarkably supportive of their series and has allowed them to push the envelope numerous times".

In the previous series, lead character Harley Quinn – who is also the former girlfriend of The Joker – ended up in bed with her best friend Poison Ivy, voiced by Lake Bell.

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