Many viewers have been left baffled after spotting a scene in Little Britain has been left in the series after the show was re-added to BBC iPlayer yesterday (Wednesday 16 March), despite another controversial character being removed.
The comedy series was removed from several streaming services in 2020 amid controversy surrounding some of the sketches, but returned to iPlayer
When the show returned to iPlayer yesterday, the BBC confirmed that ‘edits’ had been made, with a spokesperson telling LADbible: “Little Britain has been made available to fans on BBC iPlayer following edits made to the series by Matt and David that better reflect the changes in the cultural landscape over the last twenty years since the show was first made.”
One change noticed by viewers was the removal of Desiree DeVere – a character that saw David Walliams don a fat suit and blackface.
However, now some people are questioning why another scene that could also been construed as offensive still remains in the programme, with a warning on iPlayer saying the episode ‘contains discriminatory language’.
In the second episode of series two, a student called Kenneth Lao visits university counsellor Linda Flint to request time off due to a family illness.
With Lao sitting opposite her at the desk, Flint then phones a colleague to discuss the matter, saying: “I’ve got a student here who needs the rest of the week off – personal reasons; mum’s ill. Yep, it’s Kenneth Lao.”
She then goes on to describe the student to her colleague, opting for racist and offensive language.
“Um, how can I describe him?” she says.
“He’s got straight, black hair, yellowish skin... Slight smell of soy sauce.”
As a confused Kenneth glares at Linda, she adds: “That’s it, the Ching Chong Chinaman.”
The sketch is repeated throughout the show, concluding with a scene in the final episode of season three, when a group of students – including Lao – confront Linda in her office to complain about the language she has used while describing them, from ‘Fatty Fatty Boom Boom’ and ’Mick Hucknall’ to ‘Oompa Loompa’ and ‘Big Fat Lesbian’.
Journalist Anita Singh shared screengrabs from the series two scene on Twitter, writing: "So Matt Lucas and David Walliams have cut the blackface from Little Britain to 'reflect the changes in the cultural landscape' (and get it back on iPlayer) yet this has stayed in."
Many others agreed with her, with one commenting: "I used to watch little Britain as a child, didn’t really understand the references, now as an adult I watch it back and feel sick to my stomach that it was even allowed on TV. Quite unbelievable that they’ve 'apparently' edited it and this has been left in... clear racism."
Another said: "Why don’t they just scrap this programme now? I never watched it when it was 'original' and it’s way past its time now. Let it slide into the bottom of a deep dark hole."
Some people, meanwhile, argued that the sketch was 'clearly' intended as satire to poke fun at racism.
One wrote: "This is clearly satirical omg. It’s mocking the real people in Britain who act like this and try and claim they’re not racist."
Someone else said: "It's offensive yes. But so is everything to someone. It doesn't pick on a specific type of people, everyone is fair game."
A third added: "While I get your point surely it’s down to freedom of choice. It’s on a streaming site and can watch it if want to but don’t have to?"
Another suggested the show is called Little Britain as it 'exposes' through 'grotesque characters' some of the 'unpleasant views held by people in the country', writing: "Maybe I'm naive but I don't think 'be racist for laughs' was in the concept/pitch."
LADbible has reached out to the BBC, but the broadcasting company declined to comment.
Featured Image Credit: BBC
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