Netflix, BBC remove 'Little Britain' as show comes under fire for using blackface

The show faced a lot of criticism over the years for its portrayal of black and Asian characters by white actors

Los Angeles: Netflix and BBC have removed British comedy series "Little Britain" from their platforms after the show came under fire over the use of blackface in some of its sketches.

Created by David Walliams and Matt Lucas, the comedy ran on BBC Three from 2003 to 2007. The show faced a lot of criticism over the years for its portrayal of black and Asian characters by white men, with characters including a Caribbean woman called Desiree and a mail-order bride named Ting Tong.

According to Variety, "Little Britain" has been removed from Netflix, BritBox and BBC iPlayer.

The development comes as media companies reappraise content in the wake of protests over police brutality and systemic racism after the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota last month.

A BBC spokesperson said that the decision to remove the series is in sync with the changing times.

"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 representative said.

Meanwhile, Netflix has also removed Walliams and Lucas' another series "Come Fly With Me", which also featured blackface.

Lucas, who has appeared in movies such as "Alice in Wonderland" and its sequel, "Bridesmaids" and "Paddington", had previously regretted some of the jokes that featured in "Little Britain".

"If I could go back and do 'Little Britain' again, I wouldn't make those jokes about transvestites. I wouldn't play Black characters. Basically, I wouldn't make that show now. It would upset people," he told The Big Issue in 2017.

Lucas had termed the show as "cruel kind of comedy".

"Society has moved on a lot since then, and my own views have evolved. There was no bad intent there – the only thing you could accuse us of was greed. We just wanted to show off about what a diverse bunch of people we could play," the actor had said. PTI RB 06101401 NNNN

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