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.
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.
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.”
Happy Valley season three confirmed by BBC with filming to begin next year
After six long years, we will finally know the fate of Sergeant Catherine Cawood and Tommy Lee Royce
BBC’s drama Happy Valley will be returning for a third and final season, six years on from the finale of its second season, it has been confirmed today.
The smash hit crime drama, created by Sally Wainwright, last aired in 2016 and ever since fans of the show have been waiting with bated breath for any news of a third instalment.
Well, the BBC has announced today that filming for the third season will begin in West Yorkshire at some point next year, with actress Sarah Lancashire reprising the lead role of no-nonsense Sergeant Catherine Cawood.
The broadcaster also confirmed that Siobhan Finneran will return as Catherine’s sister Clare, as will James Norton as the murderer and sex offender responsible for Catherine’s daughter’s suicide, Tommy Lee Royce.
An official synopsis for the third season reads: “When Catherine discovers the remains of a gangland murder victim in a drained reservoir it sparks a chain of events that unwittingly leads her straight back to Tommy Lee Royce.
“Her grandson Ryan is now sixteen and still living with Catherine, but he has ideas of his own about what kind of relationship he wants to have with the man Catherine refuses to acknowledge as his father.
“Still battling the seemingly never-ending problem of drugs in the valley and those who supply them, Catherine is on the cusp of retirement.”
Wainwright said on the return of the show: “I’m delighted to find myself back in the world of Catherine Cawood and her family and colleagues for the final instalment of the Happy Valley trilogy.
“It’s been wonderful to see the lasting impact this series has had on audiences all over the world. I’m thrilled that Sarah, James and Siobhan are back on board for what I hope will be the best season yet, and thrilled once again to be working with the wonderful team at Lookout Point, the BBC and our new colleagues at AMC.”
And on reprising the formidable role of Tommy, James Norton said: “To take on Tommy one final time is a wonderful and daunting privilege, and something I’ve been looking forward to since we wrapped the last series six years ago.
“I’m so excited to be working with the insanely talented Sally and Sarah again. Thinking we should all go on one last barge holiday, for old times’ sake.”
Filming for the third and final season of Happy Valley will begin in 2022. Seasons 1 and 2 are available to watch on both Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
Line of Duty ‘to return for seventh season’ but fans will have to wait a while for new episodes
Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the wee donkey!
Line of Duty will reportedly be making a comeback for a seventh season though new episodes are ‘years away’, an insider on the show has claimed this week.
The hit BBC drama, which follows the investigations conducted into corrupt police officers by anti-corruption unit AC12, wrapped up its sixth season earlier this year; however, the majority of fans were left dismayed by the finale (spoiler: bumbling copper Ian Buckles was revealed to be ‘H’, also known as ‘the fourth man’ in a string of organised crime operations).
Despite fans’ disappointment with the ending, however, the series finale smashed all records on the night of its release, with an average of 12.8 million people tuning in to watch.
And better yet, Line of Duty was watched by over 15 million people, making it the most viewed drama of the 21st Century. The series also performed handsomely at the National Television Awards in September, where it snatched up two categories, Special Recognition and Returning Drama.
So fans will be delighted to hear that there have been talks of a seventh season with Vicky McClure, Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar all set to reprise their lead roles.
A show insider told The Daily Star: “Another series is happening. This is the news millions of fans have been hoping for.”
Other details, including the storylines and filming dates, are yet to be finalised, with the insider adding: “A lot of stuff still needs to be agreed and it is likely to take a while. Fans will probably have to wait a few years before it airs on TV.”
This comes just after Martin Compston, who plays DI Steve Arnott, told the Daily Star that he wouldn’t return to the hit crime drama ‘just for the sake of it’.
He said: “People want us to come back and that’s amazing but Jed [Mercurio] will only come back and do more if he believes there is a story to tell. He won’t come back just because we’re getting bigger. He wouldn’t do another series just for the sake of it. He writes everything for a reason.”
Compston admitted that he was overwhelmed following the backlash to the season 6 finale, saying: “It’s great to see people’s reactions. But by the last episode, I was glad it was done. It was getting intense. I realised people are so invested in it.
“We started this wee show on Wednesday nights on BBC Two and now it is bigger than ever!”
Coronation Street fans are convinced a character secretly made a comeback in the form of ‘creepy’ ghost
Who could it be?!
Speculation is rife among Coronation Street fans this week after the ghostly appearance of an old character during Wednesday nights episode.
As Super Soap Week got well underway with a series of explosive and terrifying events, eagle-eyed viewers couldn’t help but notice a mysterious figure lurking along the cobbles in one particular scene.
Following the dramatic event of Harvey being sucked into the ground as a sinkhole gave way in the storm that battered Weatherfield (the most Corrie thing to happen ever, I know), an ominous figure dressed as a makeshift ghost stood and watched in the background.
The figure was undeniably sinister and a little of out character for the soap but, regardless, fans were quick at getting to work working out who it could’ve been.
And many came to the same conclusion; it must’ve been none other than Harvey’s aunt Sharon Bentley, played by Tracie Bennett.
One person wrote on Twitter, “guys the ghost could be Sharon…” while another commented, quite frantically, “THE GHOST HAS TO BE SHARON RIGHT? WITH HER TASER?”
Twitter page Just Spooky Thoughts even went to the lengths of conducting a poll of who the ghost could’ve been, with 51.8% of eager participants saying they believed it to be Sharon. 22.4% voted for ‘One of Harvey’s goon’s, 17.6% selected Natasha and 8.2% believed it to be Jacob.
Sharon was shopped to the police in June by Rita Tanner over her ties to Harvey after she tried to get £10,000 from her former foster mum to go on the run.
But in an exchange for her freedom, Sharon struck a deal with the police to testify against Harvey, with her eventually giving evidence against him.
At the end of Wednesday night’s double episode, Harvey was seen very much alive and reaching for the gun brandished earlier by Abi Franklin in her own showdown with her son Seb’s killer Corey Brent.