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Netflix Among Platforms That Removed ‘Little Britain’ for Featuring Blackface Sketches

Stephanie Sengwe

At a time when systemic racism is being challenged across the world, a host of companies have combing through racially insensitive content more than ever and Netflix is no different. According to Deadline, the Matt Lucas and David Walliams-helmed sketch show “Little Britain” has been removed from Netflix, the BBC and BritBox for featuring sketches done in blackface.

Netflix pulled “Little Britain” as well as its follow-up, “Come Fly With Me,” last Friday and the BBC and BritBox followed suit this week. “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,” the BBC said in a statement.

“Little Britain” first aired on BBC in 2003 and “Come Fly With Me” premiered in 2010. Both series saw Lucas and Walliams turning into characters from various ethnic backgrounds with the use of makeup. Walliams played a black woman named Desiree DeVere in “Little Britain,” while Lucas played a black cafe worker in “Come Fly With Me” named Precious Little.

With the death of George Floyd sparking a wave of Black Lives Matter protests against racism and police brutality towards black people in the U.S., many companies have stepped out to show solidarity. Just last week, Warner Bros. announced on Twitter that they released “Just Mercy,” a film following the work of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson on digital platforms for free. The film will be available at no cost to consumers for the month of June.

“Just Mercy” stars Michael B. Jordan, who plays Stevenson, as he defends Walter McMillian, played by Jamie Foxx, in order to fight a wrongful murder conviction. “Just Mercy” was released in 2019 and was directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.

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