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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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BBC

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.

Little Britain/BBC

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.”

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TV & Film

Netflix boss confirms adverts are coming to the streaming platform ‘in next year or two’

Netflix lost around 200k subscribers at the start of 2022

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CardMapr / Unsplash & Netflix

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos has confirmed adverts will be coming to some subscription packages as part of its vision for the future.

While the lack of adverts is undoubtedly one of Netflix’s biggest selling points, the streaming service has revealed that adverts will soon be a part of its viewing experience in response to the rising cost of living and increasing competition.

Netflix lost around 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, and is expected to lose even more in the coming months as people cut back on their monthly outgoings.

In response to this, Netflix has confirmed it is now in the process of introducing a more cost-effective tier of subscription with adverts on the platform.

@popcornmatch / Unsplash

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ted Sarandos confirmed at the Cannes Lions advertising festival that the streaming service had already started talks with potential advertisers.

He explained: “We’ve left a big customer segment off the table, which is people who say: ‘Hey, Netflix is too expensive for me and I don’t mind advertising’.

“We’re adding an ad tier; we’re not adding ads to Netflix as you know it today. We’re adding an ad tier for folks who say, ‘Hey, I want a lower price and I’ll watch ads’.”

He also discussed the possibility of Netflix being bought out in the future as a result of the company’s plunging stock price since the start of the year.

Netflix

While admitting the chances that someone might buy out Netflix are ‘always a reality’, Sarandos insisted the streaming giant had it in them to ‘return to prosperity’ by itself.

He previously said that the ad-backed tier would launch ‘in the next year or two’, and would do so as a publisher without the data tracking and ad-matching that some competitors are embracing.

This comes just months after the streaming giant announced it would be increasing the cost of its subscription packages for all UK customers.

Netflix said the increase in price – which will be by £1 or £2 depending on the subscription – will allow its service to ‘continue investing in best in class UK productions’ as well as ‘offer a wide variety of curated quality shows and films’ to customers.’

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TV & Film

Gordon Ramsay WILL reunite with Gino D’Acampo and Fred Siriex for new road trip series

The mischievous trio could be back on our screens sooner than we’d thought…

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ITV

Contrary to previous rumours, Gordon Ramsay will be reuniting with Gino D’Acampo and Fred Siriex for a new road trip series, a television source has confirmed this week.

Last year, fans of the trio were devastated when This Morning star Gino hinted his fellow chef wouldn’t have time to embark upon another road trip adventure, with him currently filming the second season of the BBC’s Future Food Stars.

In November, Gino mischievously wrote on Twitter: “Breaking News… Unfortunately we will no longer be filming #GordonGinoandFred mainly because @gordongram is too busy working on his hair highlights in USA.”

However, this week a source put Gino’s hint to bed by confirming that Gordon has indeed found time in his busy schedule and hairdressers appointments to squeeze in another culinary adventure with his pals.

ITV

The source said: “He is something of a victim of his own success at the moment, and he has so much on it’s tricky fitting it all in.

“He already has something of a logistical conundrum co-ordinating his diary with the busy Fred and Gino, and that’s before they try to set up a string of filming locations — which have yet to be decided.”

The insider added that the trio plan to hit the road ‘as soon as possible’ so that fans are able to enjoy the show as soon as possible.

They said: “But they are determined to hit the road again as soon as possible and deliver the new show as planned.”

ITV

Since starting five years ago, Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip has boomed in popularity, with their latest adventure being in Greece.

The trio have travelled across various parts of the globe together as a part of the ITV series – America, France and Italy, to name a few – and have experienced many weird and wonderful customs along the way.

Last year they ventured to Greece and were due to go to Egypt, though their trip was sadly cut short by the Covid pandemic.

ITV is yet to confirm any news about the new series.

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TV & Film

Coronation Street’s Maria Windass embroiled in ‘mortifying’ online porn scandal

Maria’s in for a sorry old time next week…

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ITV

Coronation Street’s Samia Longchambon has revealed her character Maria will become embroiled in a ‘mortifying’ online porn scandal.

Samia’s latest storyline has seen Maria – who she has played since 2000 – embark upon a political career, with her putting green issues at the top of her agenda as the newly-elected councillor for Weatherfield.

However, as bin men strike over her new refuge collection policies, Maria will attempt to salvage her reputation by giving an impassioned speech on the importance of the environment. But there, she will discover that she is at the centre of a new viral video.

In the video, her words from the speech have been chopped up and rearranged along to a rap tune to manipulate the message she was trying to deliver.

ITV

Speaking of the upcoming storyline, Samia said: “Basically, Maria’s like this rap star, but she doesn’t want to be. She feels really embarrassed and humiliated by it.

“It knocks her confidence as her heart is in the right place with it all and she feels like everyone is just laughing at her.”

Read More: Coronation Street viewers complain ‘kinky’ scenes made them ‘feel sick’

However, things will get even worse for Maria when she discovers a second video circulating, but this time featuring her head superimposed onto a pornographic video.

Samia explained: “It’s awful. She’s been hiding the first video from Liam [her son], not wanting him to see it because she’s embarrassed and then she gets a call while in the street, in the middle of a todo with Gemma and Sally over the bin strike, saying Liam’s been in a fight.

ITV

“It’s not until she gets home and he shows her the video. She’s absolutely mortified… One that it exists and two that it’s her son that showed it to her and that he’s actually seen this video and thinks that it’s her because it really looks like her. These deep fakes actually look like the person.

“She’s mortified thinking people will think she’s been doing pornography.”

And if that wasn’t bad enough, Maria will then find herself subject to trolling and even death threats. The character will then host a press conference to expose the horrific behaviour of online trolls.

Gary later suspects the refuse team leader Jimmy as the mastermind behind the abuse after Maria is heckled at her press conference, and subsequently launches an attack against him, prompting Maria to consider quitting the council.

Coronation Street continues tomorrow on ITV at 8pm.

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