Netflix pulls ‘The League of Gentlemen’ from its platform over blackface character

The show's actors have previously defended the character

The League of Gentlemen has been removed from Netflix in light of the show’s use of blackface.

The League of Gentlemen, which began in 1999 and was created by Reece Shearsmith alongside Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss and Steve Pemberton, remains on BBC iPlayer for now.

Shearsmith, who is white, plays Papa Lazarou in the BBC series. Earlier this year, the actor told The Independent: “It was not me doing a black man.


“It was always this clown-like make-up and we just came up with what we thought was the scariest idea to have in a sort of Child Catcher-like way.”

Netflix has also removed four Chris Lilley shows — Angry BoysSummer Heights HighWe Can Be Heroes and Jonah From Tonga — in light of past discussions on characters using blackface, and which saw Lilley wearing brown make-up.

This follows news that Little Britain and Come Fly With Me have both been removed from BBC iPlayer, Netflix and BritBox following discussions about Matt Lucas and David Walliams’ characters also using blackface.

“Times have changed since Little Britain first aired,” the BBC said in a statement, also echoed by BritBox.

Earlier this year, The Sun reported that Matt Lucas and David Walliams had been offered a £3 million deal with Netflix to revive Little Britain.


In 2017, Lucas said he would never revive the show, explaining: “Little Britain is about 15 to 16 years old now, we all got old. And I think you would do things differently now.”