‘Little Britain’ Pulled From Netflix Over Use of Blackface
Those outside of the U.K. may not be familiar with Matt Lucas and David Williams’ sketch comedy show Little Britain, which debuted on BBC back in 2003. The show was immensely popular when it first came out, and has since found a home on Netflix and UK streaming services BBC iPlayer and Britbox. Little Britain used exaggerated parodies of British people to poke fun at its own culture. Now, according to Variety, the show will be leaving Netflix and other streaming services due to its use of blackface.
A spokesman from BBC told the news source that the channel will “regularly review” their shows for culturally insensitive content. He also said that “times have changed” since Little Britain first aired, and therefore the show will not be available for viewing. The decision to remove the series comes in the wake of nation-wide protests over the killing of George Floyd. As issues of racial injustice are brought to the foreground, networks are becoming more and more conscious of the material they associate themselves with.
In addition to Little Britain, Netflix has also removed the duo’s airport mockumentary Come Fly With Me from its catalog. This past March, the streaming giant had been in talks with Lucas and Williams to revive Little Britain. However, the possibility of a reboot isn’t looking likely now.
It should also be noted that Lucas spoke out about his multi-ethnic roles in the show to Big Issue magazine in 2017. “I wouldn’t make that show now. It would upset people. We made a more cruel kind of comedy than I’d do now,” said Lucas. “Society has moved on a lot since then and my own views have evolved. There was no bad intent there – the only thing you could accuse us of was greed. We just wanted to show off about what a diverse bunch of people we could play.”
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