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TV & Film

Netflix removes League of Gentlemen and Mighty Boosh over blackface controversy

Many programmes have been removed.

Alex Watson

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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.”

TV & Film

Great British Bake Off opening episode hit with more than 200 Ofcom complaints

Oh here we go…

Alex Watson

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on

Channel 4

Ofcom has received over 200 complaints following Matt Lucas’ sketch of Boris Johnson at the start of the new series of the Great British Bake Off. 

202 people have actually taken the time to complain about Matt’s very first scene presenting the show, after replacing Sandi Toksvig.  

Ofcom told Metro.co.uk: “We’ve received 202 complaints about the opening sketch.”

The clip sees Matt in a blonde wig standing behind a podium, surrounded with Union Jack flags, wafting a piece of paper.  

He began: “Right, good evening. Let’s get straight to it. Stay alert. Protect Cake. Save Loaves.

“We are now approaching phase 46, which means that from Tuesday morning or Wednesday evening, depending on your height, we are seeing, with regards to baking… if you must bake in a tent, then bake in a tent, but please don’t bake in a tent.

“And we are asking people to use common sense with regards to the distribution of hundreds and thousands.”

Noel Fielding was then video called into the briefing to ask a very important question – is it Scone or Scone?

One person tweeted to let everyone know they weren’t happy with the sketch: “Mocking the prime minister straight after his address to the nation is distasteful and not funny.

“He is under a huge amount of pressure with the balancing act of the economy and people’s lives. Stick to baking.”

Someone replied: “I totally agree, why must ever single thing be politicised. I have complained to Off ok. Disgusting.”

Another added: “We want to escape and be entertained by our entertainment shows not annoyed by them”

Most people, however, found the comedy sketch hilarious! One wrote: “Can’t believe all the complaints about this! It was hilarious!” Another added: “Well I thought it was genius. We need cheering up during these awful times.”

What did you think of the sketch? Let us know! 

 

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TV & Film

Matt Lucas’ hilarious Boris Johnson impression has been hailed the ‘best Bake Off opening ever’

Last night’s episode was hilarious!

Alex Watson

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Channel 4

Last night saw the launch of this year’s Great British Bake Off, and fans are calling new presenter Matt Lucas’ opening ‘genuis’. 

The debut of the show kicked off with the Little Britain star mimicking Boris Johnson’s coronavirus briefings that we’ve all come to know (but definitely not love) very well. 

Lucas has replaced Sandi Toksvig as co-presenter for the Channel 4 show, alongside Noel Fielding.

Kicking off with the first scene, Lucas is shown wearing a blonde wig and standing at a podium with the slogan: “Stay Alert, Bake Cake, Save Loaves.”

Fans were worried earlier on on Tuesday as they would have to decide between Boris or Bake Off, as Boris’ briefing was scheduled for the exact same time.

Luckily, Bake Off was postponed for 15 minutes.

Lucas began, stumbling over his words, saying ‘Good evening, let’s get straight to it.’

He continued: “We are now approaching phase 46 which means that from Tuesday morning or Wednesday evening, depending on your height, we are saying, with regards to baking, that if you must bake in a tent, bake in a tent, but please don’t bake in a tent…”

Lucas added: “We are asking people to use common sense with regards to the distribution of the hundreds and thousands.”

The clip then panned to Noel, video-linked in to ask a very important and pressing question, ‘is it scone or scone?’

Pru and Paul then both answer, with completely different pronunciations, leaving everyone just as confused as ever. 

Fans have been howling over the skit ever since. One user wrote: “I could watch Matt Lucas doing Boris Johnson impersonations for the rest of 2020. In fact, it may be the only thing that gets me through 2020.”

Another added: “I can’t listen to Boris Johnson now without visualising Matt Lucas”

That’s not the only part of the show that has had viewers in stitches.

In what is being hailed the ‘silliest showstopper’ yet fans had to immortalise their heroes in sponge cake.

The tent quickly became a budget Madame Tussauds, complete with a mouthless Bob Marley, a neckless Freddie Mercury plus an inflated David Bowie. 

One Twitter user wrote: “I didn’t think 2020 could get any worse until someone baked a Louis Theroux cake”

Another, speaking of Freddie’s head, said: “Not the hero we deserved but the hero we needed”.

I already can’t wait for next week! 

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TV & Film

ITV’s new series ‘Des’ hit with Ofcom complaints due to ‘horrifying’ scenes

Have you watched it yet?

Alex Watson

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ITV

Des, a new three-part series on ITV, has been hit with Ofcom complaints as viewers were left ‘horrified’ from the scenes detailing gruesome murders.

Des features the story of serial killer Dennis Nilsen, who murdered at least 12 men in the space of five years, between 1978 and 1983 in London.

Played by David Tennant, Des’s talk of boiled heads, dismemberment and necrophilia, plus extensive chain-smoking on the series, has prompted viewers to complain to Ofcom.

Taking to Twitter, one viewer wrote: “Oh it’s time to scare myself silly again watching @itv #Des I’m hoping @TwiningsUK is going to help this evening #scared #itv #itvdes #tea #twinings #sleep.”

Another tweeted David’s co-star, Daniel Mays, who plays DCI Jay, the detective in charge of the case: “@DanielMays9 Just watched Des, scared to go to sleep now!”

The killer was found out when a workman found chunks of human remains in the drain of Nilsen’s home in Muswell Hill. More remains were found before Des confessed to the murders.

There are chilling scenes which sees Nilsen defend carrying out despicable acts on the corpses.

Nilsen’s biographer, Brian Masters, asked him about having sex with the victims to which Nilsen replied ‘it wasn’t about sex’, adding that Brian was trying to find ‘simple answers.

Brian replies: “I’m not trying to simplify anything but you did have sex with these young men after they died.”

Nilsen creepily replied: “No, I did not. Did I enjoy them? Yes.

“Did I gain some sort of satisfaction from looking at their naked bodies next to mine in the mirror? I didn’t penetrate them.

“The only thing I did was squeeze the life out of a human being, that was wrong, that was unforgivable. I’ll be properly punished for it.”

He continued: “What I did with a corpse was neither here nor there. If you’re more disgusted by what I did to a corpse than what I did to a living man, then your moral system is upside down.”

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