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TV & Film

Netflix removes League of Gentlemen and Mighty Boosh over blackface controversy

Many programmes have been removed.

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Several programmes have been axed from streaming services due to white actors using blackface in a number of episodes and films. 

Blackface is the term used to describe theatrical makeup by white people to represent – usually insultingly – a caricature of a black person. It is a term that finds its origins in the US.

It demonstrates a long, deeply rooted and painful history found within racial ideologies that underpin transatlantic slavery.

It was created in a time when black people did not have the same rights as white people and were denied citizenship as an excuse to justify state violence. This meant that Black people were not allowed to be seen on stage due to their skin colour.

Blackface is often thought of as an old relic from the 1800s but there are many cases of modern 21st century TV programs still using it.

In the light of the resurgence of the BLM movement, critics have called for shows that depict blackface which are still on streaming services to be removed because it does little to combat racism.

Although in many cases it’s widely agreed the individual wearing blackface does not intend racism, it still causes harm through ignorance.

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The League of Gentlemen and The Mighty Boosh are the latest shows to be removed from Netflix due to their use of blackface, the Guardian reports. 

Little Britain has also been removed from Netflix, Britbox and BBC iPlayer due to the use of blackface in some of the sketches of the show. 

 Come Fly With Me, also from Matt Lucas and David Walliams, has also been axed. 

“There’s a lot of historical programming available on BBC iPlayer, which we regularly review,” a spokesperson from the BBC said, adding: “Times have changed since Little Britain first aired so it is not currently available on BBC iPlayer.”

Matt Lucas has previously admitted that Little Britain ‘aged terribly’, stressing that if the comedy was ever renewed, he would never play a black character again. 

Mighty Boosh/BBC

Gone With the Wind, an American civil war romance, positively depicts slavery and has since been removed from HBO Max where it was previously streamable. 

Channel 4 has removed Bo Selecta from its All4 streaming service and Leigh Francis, the comedian who played many black celebrities in the programme, such as Craig David and Trisha Goddard, has apologised for using blackface.

Ant and Dec have also issued an apology for a segment of Saturday Night Takeaway in 2003 where they impersonated people from other ethnic backgrounds using blackface. 

Despite the concept of blackface starting by white entertainers mimicking black people for entertainment purposes, many people are arguing that the programmes are ‘old’ and removing them from streaming services ‘takes away our right to choose’.

One Twitter user put: ‘The censorship of comedy – a favourite hobby in Hitler’s Germany – continues. Weary face Little Britain removed from BBC iPlayer, Netflix and BritBox due to use of blackface.”

It has caused much debate in the public, with one Twitter user explaining the issue thus: “Nobody is going on BBC iPlayer to watch those shows as a history lesson, they’re watching it to laugh – often at the expense of black people.”

TV & Film

Olivia Attwood ‘forced to quit’ I’m A Celebrity after just 24 hours

BREAKING

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Olivia Attwood has reportedly quit I’m A Celebrity just hours after the new series made its debut.

According to ITV, the Love Island star has been forced to withdraw from the reality show due to a ‘medical matter’.

An ITV spokesperson told The Independent: “As a precautionary measure Olivia needed to leave the jungle to undergo some medical checks.

“Unfortunately, the medical team has advised it is not safe for Olivia to return to camp as there needs to be further investigation.

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“She has been absolutely brilliant and she’ll be very much missed on the show.”

According to The Sun, the reality TV star is currently flying back to the UK to reunite with her fiancee Bradley Dack.

Last night, viewers watched as Attwood began her journey into the Australian jungle as a VIP alongside radio DJ Chris Moyles.

The pair later found out that VIP actually stood for ‘Very Isolated People’, and would have to spend the night in a separate camp before undergoing a Bush Tucker Trial the following day.

Before she entered the jungle by jumping out of a helicopter, Attwood joked that her ex-boyfriends watching the show – including former Love Island co-star Chris Hughes – would probably want to see her get stuck into the trials.

She said: “I don’t really have that many exes who I’m bad terms with, but all exes will probably want to see me choke on camel’s anus.”

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TV & Film

Warner Bros want to make more Harry Potter films if J.K Rowling agrees

The eight existing Harry Potter films have grossed over $7 billion globally

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The CEO of Warner Bros has expressed his interest in making more Harry Potter films if J.K Rowling agrees.

During an investors Q3 meeting this week, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said he would be interested in continuing the wizardry franchise if Rowling would be up for it.

He said, as per The Hollywood Reporter: “We’re going to focus on franchises.

We haven’t had a Superman movie in thirteen years. We haven’t done a Harry Potter in fifteen years. The DC movies and the Harry Potter movies provided a lot of the profits for Warner Bros. … over the past twenty-five years.”

He added: “If we can do something with J.K. on Harry Potter going forward.”

Following the success of the eight Harry Potter films, which have collectively grossed $7.7 billion globally, Warner Bros partnered with Rowling for the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which alternatively saw diminishing returns at the box office. 

Because of this, it is unclear if the studio will move forward with the two planned Fantastic Beasts films to round out its five-picture arc.

In the years since Harry Potter’s debut, Rowling has been embroiled in controversy surrounding her views on sex and transgender women.

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She said on Twitter at the time: “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction.

“If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives.

“It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”

This has sparked rumours that Warner Bros could be hesitant in moving forward with her, though the production company denied this, saying in a statement: “For twenty years, Warner Bros., J.K. Rowling and her team have worked together to delight fans around the world with spectacular storytelling and the magic of the Wizarding World.”

 

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TV & Film

Matt Hancock to enter I’m A Celebrity as surprise campmate

BREAKING: He has been suspended as Tory MP for his decision

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Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock will reportedly be entering I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! as a surprise campmate, a TV source has revealed today.

The disgraced politician, who was forced to resign last year after CCTV footage showed him cheating on his wife during the Covid pandemic, has been ‘named’ as the twelfth star to go into the jungle.

A TV source told The Sun: “Matt is a sensational signing for the show as producers love a star with a story to tell, and they always hope they’ll spill the beans round the campfire.

“He’s the latest in a long line of figures from the political sphere, including MP Nadine Dorries, Stanley Johnson and MP Lembit Opik.”

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The source added: “There’s been a question mark over who the twelfth campmate would be, partly because negotiations over Matt going in were so top secret.

“It seems Matt was a last-minute signing.”

However, Sky News has now reported that Hancock has been suspended as Tory MP over his involvement on the show.

Chief Whip Simon Hart MP said: “Following a conversation with Matt Hancock, I have considered the situation and believe this is a matter serious enough to warrant suspension of the whip with immediate effect.”

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In response to this, the TV source added: “Matt [Hancock] doesn’t expect to serve in government again, so it’s an incredible opportunity for him to engage with the 12m Brits who tune in every single night.

“Matt has told the whips in parliament and he will use his time in the jungle to promote his dyslexia campaign.”

They continued: “Matt has an excellent team working with him in West Suffolk, but producers have agreed that he can communicate with them if there’s an urgent constituency matter.

“There are many ways to do the job of being an MP.

I'm A Celebrity 2022: Mike Tindall, Boy George and Chris Moyles in line-up  - BBC News

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“Whether he’s in camp for one-day or three weeks, there are very few places people will be able to see a politician as they really are.

“Where better to show the human side of those who make these decisions than with the most-watched programme on TV?”

The eleven other celebrities taking part in this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! have already landed in Australia ahead of the series’ debut this month.

This year’s line up includes the likes of pop icon Boy George, Corrie’s Sue Cleaver, TV presenter Scarlette Douglas, ex-rugby player Mike Tidnall MBE and journalist Charlene White. 

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