Little Britain removed from Netflix and iPlayer due to offensive blackface characters

Susannah Alexander
Photo credit: BBC

From Digital Spy

Little Britain is no longer available to watch on streaming services including Netflix, BBC iPlayer and BritBox after the series was removed from the platforms.

The comedy show, which originally aired between 2003 and 2005, features David Walliams and Matt Lucas playing a range of characters from Vicky Pollard and Daffyd Thomas to Lou and Andy.

The series has attracted criticism in the past for some of its stereotypical portrayals, as well as the actors' use of blackface and the representation of women and disabled people, and it has now been dropped completely from several streaming sites.

Photo credit: Dave J Hogan - Getty Images

Related: Little Britain's Big Night In sketch criticised over 'racist' bat-eating joke

A BBC spokesperson confirmed to Digital Spy that the show is no longer on iPlayer, saying: "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."

Netflix has also dropped the pair's airport mockumentary series Come Fly With Me (which was already unavailable on iPlayer), a show which had also attracted criticism for its use of blackface characters.

Matt Lucas has previously admitted that he regrets some of the jokes and characters featured in Little Britain, saying that the show would be very different if it were made today.

"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 said.

Photo credit: NBC Universal

Related: David Walliams and Matt Lucas bring back Little Britain characters for BBC's Big Night In

"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 also said that he thinks "it's lazy for white people to get a laugh just by playing Black characters".

What these developments mean for the reports that Little Britain is in line for a revival remains to be seen.

Digital Spy now has a newsletter – sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox.

Looking for more TV recommendations and discussion? Head over to our Facebook Group to see new picks every day, and chat with other readers about what they're watching right now.

You Might Also Like