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Netflix And BBC Remove 'Little Britain' From Streaming Platforms Over Use Of Blackface

Netflix And BBC Remove 'Little Britain' From Streaming Platforms Over Use Of Blackface
June 9, 2020 - 21:07 / Lucas Anderson

Little Britain and Come Fly with Me have been removed from streaming services amid concerns about their use of blackface. Get the BBC's statement on the Matt Lucas and David Walliams TV series here.

Matt Lucas and David Walliams' two sketch series, Little Britain and Come Fly with Me, are no longer streaming on Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or BritBox. 

On Monday, a BBC spokesperson released a statement addressing the removal, which reportedly stems from the use of blackface on both shows. 

"There's a lot of historical programming available on BBC iPlayer, which we regularly review," the BBC's statement said. 

"Times have changed since Little Britain first aired so it is not currently available on BBC iPlayer."

Matt Lucas and David Williams at a book signing for Little Britain in 2006.

In addition, BritBox released a statement that once again stressed that: "Times have changed since Little Britain first aired." 

"Come Fly With Me has not been available on the service for six months," their statement added.

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Little Britain's Matt Lucas regrets blackface sketches

In a 2017 interview, star and co-creator Matt Lucas expressed sentiments similar to those echoed today by the BBC and BritBox.

"If I could go back and do Little Britain again, I wouldn't make those jokes about transvestites," Lucas told The Guardian. "I wouldn't play black characters."

"Basically, I wouldn't make that show now. It would upset people. We made a more cruel kind of comedy than I'd do now.

"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," he explained.

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The news comes in the wake of George Floyd's death, the global Black Lives Matter protests, and renewed conversation on racism.

Little Britain and Come Fly with Me stream no more due to blackface

On Little Britain, Walliams portrayed a character in blackface, while both he and Lucas did so on Come Fly with Me. Consequently, on Monday, the popular satirical comedy series were lifted from multiple big streamers.