'Little Britain' Removed from Streaming Platforms over the Show's Use of Blackface

The series will no longer air on BBC iPlayer, Netflix or BritBox

BY Allie GregoryPublished Jun 9, 2020

Matt Lucas and David Walliams's early-aughts comedy series Little Britain has been removed from Netflix, BBC iPlayer and BritBox amid continuing concerns of the show's depiction of Black and Brown people, and the use of blackface in certain sketches.

In addition to the series' takedown, Netflix has also removed the duo's Come Fly With Me — a mockumentary series set in an airport that routinely saw offensive depictions of non-white people. BBC removed that series six months ago.

A BBC spokesman told Variety: "There's a lot of historical programming available on BBC iPlayer which we regularly review. Times have changed since Little Britain first aired, so it is not currently available on BBC iPlayer."

The series has long been the subject of criticism for its punch-down style of comedy, having frequently depicted unflattering caricatures of transgender people, women, people with disabilities, Black people and people of Asian descent.

In 2017, Matt Lucas told Big Issue that he regretted his depictions of marginalized groups, saying that if given the chance to redo the show, "I wouldn't play Black characters. Basically, I wouldn't make that show now. It would upset people."

He added: "Now I think it's lazy for white people to get a laugh just by playing black characters. My aim is to entertain, I don't have any other agenda."

Little Britain originally aired from 2003 to 2007.

One instance of the offending sketches can be viewed below. The video comes with a heavy content warning for its use blackface.

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