The BBC has removed jokes about Prince Andrew and Prince Phillip from the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, seemingly in the belief it would offend UK audiences.
On the original broadcast of the Australian show, contestant Anita Wigl’it dressed in Queen Elizabeth II drag for the show’s Snatch Game segment. During the segment, queens dressed up as various celebrities and tried to make host RuPaul laugh.
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Wigl’it riffed as the British monarch with Etcetera Etcetera, who was dressed as Lindy Chamberlain, saying “I wish a dingo would have taken my baby, then I wouldn’t have anything to do with Prince Andrew any more”.
The British broadcaster removed this gag from its version of the episode on its iPlayer streaming service. Another joke about Prince Phillip filmed prior to his death was also clipped out.
The Guardian received confirmation from the BBC of the censorship, but did not get a clear explanation as to specifically why these jokes were specifically egregious.
“The BBC occasionally makes edits to acquired programmes in accordance with UK audience expectations,” a spokesperson said.
Other jokes at the expense of Prince Andrew and the Queen herself were inexplicably not censored by the BBC, including another about Prince Andrew: “When somebody turns 100, I write them a letter – and when somebody turns 16, Prince Andrew writes them a text.”
When asked the secret to a long life, Wigl’it retorted “don’t piss me off and wear a seatbelt”, a reference to a longstanding conspiracy that the Queen was involved with the death of Princess Diana.
Etcetera Etcetera’s performance as Lindy Chamberlain in the same episode was marred by controversy, attracting a fierce backlash on social media. Some viewed her depiction of the woman wrongly accused of murdering her own baby, and subsequently jailed for three years in 1982, as making light of trauma.
During the broadcast, other queens also expressed hesitation toward the costume.
“I think Etcetera Etcetera is taking a bit of a risk … Lindy Chamberlain is quite difficult to make funny,” Karen from Finance said.