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Little Britain removed from streaming platforms

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TI
TIGHazard Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
On one hand I understand the reasoning for it's removal (I remember gay kids being teased as school with lines from Daffyd)

On the other, why can't it be treated like Warner do with Looney Tunes, and the Jazz Singer and say "this contains outdated racist stereotypes that were wrong then, and wrong now. But to remove them would to treat them like they never existed." Porridge has a similar warning on iPlayer ! ("This programme is a classic comedy and reflects the broadcast standards and attitudes of the time it was created" or words to that effect).

During the inevitable race relations in Britain module in history, would it not be useful to be able to show children Fletcher from Porridge asking Jock why he has such a chip on his shoulder about being a black scot? About Del Boy casually telling a kid to go down to the P shop? About how the creators of Little Britain have admitted that it was wrong to use those stereotypes and to use blackface?
AN
all new Phil Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Maybe they just removed Little Britain because it was absolutely terrible? I mean, it started off relatively amusing but soon descended into grotesque.

I don’t think black people were necessarily targeted in it. I’d say if anyone was made to look (rightly) bad, it was the WI lady. But still it’s an uncomfortable watch now.
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
You shouldn't erase and destroy history, because it's an important reference to the present, and more importantly the future. You should however place it into proper context, and constantly review that context, and re-adjust appropriately.

Applies equally to LE telly progs, as it does statues and buildings.

What's next, demolishing Auschwitz and turning it into a Retail Park ?

I'm not going to say any more, because I'll get a TVF ASBO.
Ne1L C and SuperSajuuk gave kudos
FB
FBC (previously FBCNL) London London
I could imagine it being back at some point, perhaps edited, perhaps with an opening caption. But momentarily taking it down while deciding on the right course of action seems... quite sensible to me.

As a side note: I have always found the caption used by Warner Bros for Looney Toons quite well executed.
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AA
Amber Avenger Granada North West Today
Maybe they just removed Little Britain because it was absolutely terrible?


Surely not, the complete Mrs Browns Boys remains on Iplayer.

Anyone who is that bothered can get the complete box set down CEX for about two quid - streaming services drop stuff all the time and whilst this has obviously been done for a reason, rather than the rights lapsing - because they have been dropped now doesn't mean they will be gone forever. It's likely that in time they will re-appear either with a warning, or re-edited and the hauling of it off in its entirity is probably to figure out what to do with it in the future, if anything.

It's never been off streaming services really and has been on hard rotation on Gold for years, so it'll creep back at some point I'm sure. Similarly, we have seen both a brief radio and TV revival in the past year so there is a public appetite although this might cool things somewhat.

It'll be interesting to see what Lucas and Walliams have to say about it. Matt Lucas has apologised in the past more explicitly than David Walliams has, although the reaction from the BAME community was that neither went quite far enough.
CW
Charlie Wells Moderator Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
I dare say part of the decision relates to the 'unique way the BBC is funded'. Given the huge public protests in the UK over the weekend and Leigh Francis's apology for some of his characters in Bo Selector I think it's understandable and somewhat inevitable that the BBC have pulled Little Britain and Come Fly With Me. Had the programmes remained available it would have only been a matter of time before certain tabloids would have used it as an excuse to attack the BBC, so in that sense the BBC have pre-empted and controlled the narrative.

The controversy over some of the characters in Come Fly With Me is nothing new. Even at time of broadcast there was an article entitled... "Viewers protest at Matt Lucas and David Walliams's 'minstrel show': Comedy duo's new BBC spoof accused of being racist" (perhaps slightly ironically in the Mail). I can't recall as much criticism over Little Britain at time of broadcast specifically relating to race, though I think complaints were more about taste.

I think it's fair to say that public attitudes and opinions have changed quite a bit over the last decade. Whilst I don't think TV programmes should necessarily be 'erased' from history and should be recognised that doesn't mean they're necessarily appropriate for general widespread viewing. It's quite possible that in some months or years time one of both programmes might possibly be made available again, but with clears warnings at the start of the programmes and in descriptions about the content being outdated (or similar wording).
"Listen, we've all got something to bring to this conversation, but from now on what I think you should bring is silence." - Rimmer
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JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
I have to ask if it was because of Leigh Francis' apology over his portrayals of Craig David and Melanie Brown.


I find it strange he bought up those ones, which didn't play on their ethnicity and don't really seem racist, but didn't mention his portayals of Oprah and Trisha, which most definitely were.
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Amber Avenger Granada North West Today
I have to ask if it was because of Leigh Francis' apology over his portrayals of Craig David and Melanie Brown.


I find it strange he bought up those ones, which didn't play on their ethnicity and don't really seem racist, but didn't mention his portayals of Oprah and Trisha, which most definitely were.


He specifically mentioned his portrayal of Trisha in his apology as she contacted him directly https://metro.co.uk/2020/06/09/leigh-francis-apologised-trisha-black-face-bo-selecta-12824258/
DW
DavidWhitfield Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
For me, judging material put together years ago by our current standards is an illogical practice.

I never especially enjoyed watching Little Britain (and I certainly didn't like it enough to want to go back and rewatch it online all these years later) however I understand that many people did enjoy it, and I don't think that removing it completely is the right way of going about things.

For me, retroactively hiding 'offensive' content is the worst possible course of action. You want people to know how minorities were represented in less tolerant times as this is part of our history. If anything, I want future generations to watch this kind of content and feel a bit uneasy as it reinforces the difference between attitudes to gay people (Daffyd), black people (Desiree), Asian people (Ting Tong) from then to now.
Last edited by DavidWhitfield on 10 June 2020 11:07am - 3 times in total
Guess who's big in the back time!
BC
Blake Connolly Founding member London London
I remember Matt Lucas describing it as essentially a ham-fisted attempt to do the right thing, they thought they should reflect modern Britain in their characters so it would be wrong if they were all white, but they didn't make the next logical step he says they would do now of casting other actors of diverse backgrounds alongside them rather than playing them themselves.

I think there are some characters where you can absolutely see that intent, but others that felt horribly racist at the time.

This is akin to burning books.


That's absurd. No programme has a divine right to be on a streaming platform and it's absolutely for those platforms to decide what they will show. It's not as if all the DVDs have been recalled and the master tapes wiped.

I have to ask if it was because of Leigh Francis' apology over his portrayals of Craig David and Melanie Brown.


I find it strange he bought up those ones, which didn't play on their ethnicity and don't really seem racist, but didn't mention his portayals of Oprah and Trisha, which most definitely were.


Thought the same thing, felt like it was deflecting attention towards the most harmless examples. I recall his David Baddiel was another one he probably wouldn't like to see resurface.
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TR
trivialmatters
Amazing that Come Fly With Me was centred around blackface characters and nobody working on it - from the actors, to the writers, to the crew, to the makeup artist, to the commissioners - ever stopped to think "What are we doing here?" It was made in 2010.

Removing a show from iPlayer is not the same as "burning books", get a grip. The programme still exists it's just not being streamed by the nation's biggest broadcaster anymore.
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JC
JCB
Jon posted:
JCB posted:
Jon posted:
It’s also worth pointing out when they did ‘black up’ it wasn’t really making fun of the fact they were black, like the Black and White minstrels was. They just happened to be playing characters that were black and there is a difference which is probably how they got away with it then.


But there was no reason for characters like Desiree or Precious to be black other than Lucas/Walliams just wanting to black up.

Well Precious was presumably written as a character who was from Caribbean that was a big part the of her character so that’s probably why she was black. Precious on the other hand could have easily have been white from what I remember. Then again was it intended to make fun of black people?


If they wanted black characters they should have got a black supporting actors to play those characters. Blackface is not diversity...regardless of intent.

People will bend over backwards trying to justify white comedians doing blackface but complain that actual comedians who aren't white "make everything about race".
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