Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Britbox have all made the decision to remove comedy sketch series Little Britain from their platforms over the use of blackface throughout the show. The show has been called out for some time for being problematic, and on Friday Netflix removed it from it's services with BBC iPlayer and Britbox doing the same shortly after, also banning Walliams and Lucas's airport-based series Come Fly With Me, in the process.
One of the characters in Little Britain is health-spa member Desiree Devere, who was played by Walliams in blackface. Additionally in Come Fly With Me, Walliams played airline mogul Omar Baba and passenger liaison officer Moses Beacon, while Lucas played airport worker Taaj Manzoor and coffee kiosk worker Precious Little. Walliams and Lucas required make up to play these characters.
According to the Metro a BBC spokesperson said of the decision, "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."
A Britbox spokesperson also added, "Times have changed since Little Britain first aired, so it is not currently available on BritBox. Come Fly With Me has not been available on the service for six months."
In an interview with The Big Issue earlier this year, Matt Lucas said of the show "Basically, I wouldn’t make that show now," he continued. "It would upset people. We made a more cruel kind of comedy than I’d do now."
We have reached out to David Walliams and Matt Lucas's representatives for comment.
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