Matt Lucas Says He Has 'Evolved' In Response To Criticism Of Little Britain Characters
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Matt Lucas has said he has 'evolved' after being called a hypocrite for his use of offensive characters, which in turn followed his calling out of some Tottenham Hotspur fans.
The Little Britain and Come Fly With Me creator questioned the usage by some Spurs fans of the term 'Yids', or 'Yid Army', which refers to their long-standing association with the Jewish community in London - thought to date back to the 1970s.
The club has faced calls to ban the chant over recent years, which originates in the reclaiming of an antisemitic slur that was once commonly directed at Spurs followers, although it has also proved controversial thanks to its usage by non-Jewish fans.
The club released a statement in response to the criticism, which reads: "We have always been clear that our fans (both Jewish and gentile) have never used the term with any offence."
It goes on to say that the word needs to be addressed alongside a wider discussion on antisemitism.
Lucas tweeted an excerpt from the statement, adding: "Baffling and disappointing statement from Tottenham Hotspur - who are endorsing the use of the word 'Yid' - one that offends many Jews, including myself - at a time when the rest of football is collectively trying to battle racism and remove it from the game."
Followers proceeded to call Matt out for his comments, with many calling him a hypocrite, due to the nature of some of the characters he depicted in his older work.
Matt responded to criticism of his past work, claiming it is not the sort of comedy he would do now, tweeting: "I hear you. I've reflected and evolved. Waiting for THFC to do the same."
Little Britain, which first aired on TV in 2003, saw Lucas and co-creator David Williams portraying a range of characters including Andy Pipkin, who pretends to require a wheelchair, Dafydd, 'the only gay in the village', and transvestites Emily Howard and Florence Rose.
The pair also wore blackface to portray further characters in both Little Britain and Come Fly With Me.
However, it now seems Lucas has some regrets over the choices made in their earlier work.
Speaking to the Big Issue in 2017, he said: "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. We made a more cruel kind of comedy than I'd do now."
Addressing the changes in what is seen as acceptable, he added: "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."