Little Britain removed from streaming platforms

farnaby

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Little Britain comedy taken off Netflix, BBC iPlayer over use of blackface

My take on the removal of Little Britain from Netflix etc.: it's wrong and it represents the end of a positive and once-dominant vision of race relations.

I watched and enjoyed Little Britain when it originally aired. Its ethos seemed to be that no character recognisable to audiences as representing some aspect of British life was off limits, whatever that character's race, age or orientation. At that time "political correctness" was already over a decade old in mainstream discourse, to the extent that LB's depictions were occasionally wince-inducing but never, ever racist. The mantra behind the cancellation decision, that "times have changed", makes the 00s sound like the 50s when in fact they and their audience were fully aware of what they were doing. On balance, with plenty of sketches skewering "respectable" village racists and other bigots (e.g. the university secretary) the net result was wholly in favour of the open, multi-racial society Britain had become.

The saddest aspect is that LB represented what most anti-racists wanted in the late 20th century - a situation where an identity such as "British" could be all-inclusive and equal in terms of race and orientation, exemplified by the confidence of artists to satirise any aspect of that identity. Another example was Goodness Gracious Me - centred on the Indian experience in Britain but able to satirise the broader British identity.

What is happening now renders that benign scenario of race-relations representation in the arts extinct.
 


Supra

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Is it a case that it was disposable at this stage anyway. Netflix just being seen to do something but really doing nothing
 

brughahaha

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I also noticed that Fawlty Towers ( a programme that if anything takes the piss out of the lost post WW2 middle class white English male and their obsession with class and advancement) has been pulled from the BBC Player.

But only the one about the Germans , because of offensive racial stereotypes ...apparently the stereotypical irish builder (the utterly brilliant David Kelly) , or even a white middle class woman assaulting said working class Irish builder isnt offensive , still.

Funny how we are always excluded from the racism , offensive stereo types , badly treated narrative even in 2020 yet probably account for more offensive stereotyping in the UK than any other colour, creed, nationality or race
 

rainmaker

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Little Britain comedy taken off Netflix, BBC iPlayer over use of blackface

My take on the removal of Little Britain from Netflix etc.: it's wrong and it represents the end of a positive and once-dominant vision of race relations.

I watched and enjoyed Little Britain when it originally aired. Its ethos seemed to be that no character recognisable to audiences as representing some aspect of British life was off limits, whatever that character's race, age or orientation. At that time "political correctness" was already over a decade old in mainstream discourse, to the extent that LB's depictions were occasionally wince-inducing but never, ever racist. The mantra behind the cancellation decision, that "times have changed", makes the 00s sound like the 50s when in fact they and their audience were fully aware of what they were doing. On balance, with plenty of sketches skewering "respectable" village racists and other bigots (e.g. the university secretary) the net result was wholly in favour of the open, multi-racial society Britain had become.

The saddest aspect is that LB represented what most anti-racists wanted in the late 20th century - a situation where an identity such as "British" could be all-inclusive and equal in terms of race and orientation, exemplified by the confidence of artists to satirise any aspect of that identity. Another example was Goodness Gracious Me - centred on the Indian experience in Britain but able to satirise the broader British identity.

What is happening now renders that benign scenario of race-relations representation in the arts extinct.
Credit for a thoughtful, well reasoned OP.
 

rainmaker

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...has been pulled from the BBC Player. ...But only the one about the Germans , because of offensive racial stereotypes
It has been removed from UKTV pending review, but is still available on the joint BBC/ITV service Britbox.

It has not been suspended for racial stereotyping of Germans, but for some comments in the episode by the Major, using a racial slur to describe the West Indies cricket team.

It's suspension has nothing to do with offending Germans either, who love the series.
 

enuffisenuff

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First Benny Hill now this?
 

stopdoingstuff

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Ridiculous and retrograde actions by companies who are afraid of the mob. No gonads, and no beliefs other than having an easy life.
 

Mercurial

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At that time "political correctness" was already over a decade old in mainstream discourse, to the extent that LB's depictions were occasionally wince-inducing but never, ever racist.
The show literally featured actors in black, brown and yellowface. What part of that strikes you as not racist?

It's worth bearing in mind as well that the shows creators seem to recognize this, and neither seems to have had a problem with removing it.
 

Mercurial

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I also noticed that Fawlty Towers ( a programme that if anything takes the piss out of the lost post WW2 middle class white English male and their obsession with class and advancement) has been pulled from the BBC Player.

But only the one about the Germans , because of offensive racial stereotypes ...apparently the stereotypical irish builder (the utterly brilliant David Kelly) , or even a white middle class woman assaulting said working class Irish builder isnt offensive , still.

Funny how we are always excluded from the racism , offensive stereo types , badly treated narrative even in 2020 yet probably account for more offensive stereotyping in the UK than any other colour, creed, nationality or race
If you're feeling left out, Matt Lucas plays a racist portrayal of an Irish character (among others) in their later series "Come Fly With Me".
 

brughahaha

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If you're feeling left out, Matt Lucas plays a racist portrayal of an Irish character (among others) in their later series "Come Fly With Me".
Im Irish , I dont need to feel left out. English depictions of the Irish have for centuries been as racist as anything applied to any other ethnicity. Far worse in most cases.
The racial slurs and stereotypes were compounded by things such as the PTA , Internment and Heavy handed treatment at Airports and Ports

Unlike the BLM debate in the UK, it looks like its racism towards the Irish will be ignored

https://images.app.******/ZpedhH6okBjDviSx5
 

Mercurial

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Im Irish , I dont need to feel left out. English depictions of the Irish have for centuries been as racist as anything applies to any other ethnicity. Far worse in most cases. Unlike the BLM debate in the UK, it looks like its racism towards the Irish will be ignored

https://images.app.******/ZpedhH6okBjDviSx5
It's way worse being a BAME person in the UK right now than it is being Irish, so I don't think it helps to equate the two, let alone to suggest that we have it worse.
 

edg

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The show literally featured actors in black, brown and yellowface. What part of that strikes you as not racist?

It's worth bearing in mind as well that the shows creatures seem to recognize this, and neither seems to have had a problem with removing it.
Not everyone who dresses up like someone of a different race is racist.

It completely depends on the context.
 

brughahaha

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It's way worse being a BAME person in the UK right now than it is being Irish, so I don't think it helps to equate the two, let alone to suggest that we have it worse.
You have a clear problem understanding tenses dont you ?

And the point is we had it as bad if not worse for the best part of 300 years until very very recently , be nice if it was even tacitly acknowledged ..... and a few statues of their blood thirstier gentry who owned land here were included for removal
 

Mercurial

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Not everyone who dresses up like someone of a different race is racist.

It completely depends on the context.
Am I really going to have to explain to people in the year 2020 that blackface is racist? Really?
 
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brughahaha

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I think you have a clear problem understanding racism.
No , that would be you with the clear problem , ignoring the 300 years of Irish experience
 

farnaby

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The show literally featured actors in black, brown and yellowface. What part of that strikes you as not racist?
Because it's comedy and satire, which has an inherent right or even responsibility to get up people's noses. (It's not acceptable in e.g. drama or music.) Because the comedians' intent is clearly to satirise any and all kinds of British people equally. Because the majority of race-related sketches on the show call out racism and other bigotry.

Dressing up as a character of a different colour isn't inherently racist. There's a lot more to it. Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder being another example - close to the bone, hilarious, genuinely satirical and most importantly aware of all the angles.
 

Mercurial

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No , that would be you with the clear problem , ignoring the 300 years of Irish experience
I'm not sure why you're picking 300 years in particular, but in any case my point is that complaining about anti-Irish racism now of all times is tone-deaf at best, given that the situation for Irish people in the UK is miles better than that of people of colour.
 

Mercurial

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Because it's comedy and satire, which has an inherent right or even responsibility to get up people's noses. (It's not acceptable in e.g. drama or music.) Because the comedians' intent is clearly to satirise any and all kinds of British people equally. Because the majority of race-related sketches on the show call out racism and other bigotry.

Dressing up as a character of a different colour isn't inherently racist. There's a lot more to it. Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder being another example - close to the bone, hilarious, genuinely satirical and most importantly aware of all the angles.
Blackface has always been comedy and satire. What did you think it was?
 

Rural

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If you're feeling left out, Matt Lucas plays a racist portrayal of an Irish character (among others) in their later series "Come Fly With Me".

Which is very funny.

Where has a sense of humour gone? Matt Lucas is very funny playing "The only gay in the village" in Little Britain, where he just wants to be the "special one", watch it sometime, it's hilarious.

And then there's the sketch (which you wouldn't be arsed with as you don't have a disability and therefore...) where Matt Lucas plays the selfish lad in the wheelchair, my Brother (who is wheelchair-bound) laughed his head off at that one.

Merc, I would love to be able to afford to pay you to buy yourself a sense of humour.

giphy.gif
 


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