The League Of Gentlemen has also been removed as the latest in a number of shows that are disappearing from streaming services due to perceived racial insensitivity.
Both shows contain a character that is played by a white actor wearing blackface, and The Guardian reports that the shows have been removed from Netflix due to being racially problematic. The League Of Gentlemen still remains on BBC iPlayer though, with no apparent plans to remove it.
The Mighty Boosh‘s character Spirit Of Jazz and The League of Gentlemen’s Papa Lazarou have become the focus of the criticism, though League‘s co-creator Reece Shearsmith has always denied that Lazarou was supposed to be a black man.
The decision to remove the shows has attracted criticism online, with one calling it an “arbitrary woke gesture”.
So now we discover that @netflix have removed Little Britain, four Chris Lilley shows, The Mighty Boosh & The League of Gentlemen. In response I’ve removed Netflix. I don’t watch these shows however I deplore toxenism & “arbitrary woke gestures”
— Kate🦋M© AN (@Kate3015) June 10, 2020
Comedian Jack Carroll also shared that he believes the move has been made so Netflix can avoid doing any “real work” to counter racism.
“It’s an arbitrary gesture that means they don’t have to put any real work into combatting actual instances of racial discrimination and comedy history is getting smashed in the process. Glad I kept hold of my DVDs,” Carroll wrote on Twitter.
League of Gentleman also taken off Netflix today. It’s an arbitrary gesture that means they don’t have to put any real work into combatting actual instances of racial discrimination and comedy history is getting smashed in the process. Glad I kept hold of my DVD’s.
— Jack Carroll (@fatjacko) June 10, 2020
The new move follows Little Britain and Come Fly With Me being removed from a number of streaming services due to racial insensitivity. “Times have changed since Little Britain first aired so it is not currently available on BBC iPlayer,” a BBC spokesperson said in a statement.
Four of Chris Lilley’s programs have also been pulled from Netflix due to concerns over their depiction of race.
The collection, titled ‘More Than A Moment’, includes the short description: “Black lives matter. Learn more about racial injustice and the Black experience in America with this collection of films, series and documentaries.”