Netflix & HBO Max Remove Titles Over Racist Portrayals
By Thanussha Priyah, 15 Jun 2020
Image via IMDb and IMDb
Netflix has been quietly pulling shows with racist associations from its platform, having already removed British comedy The Mighty Boosh, starring Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding, The League of Gentlemen, Little Britain and Come Fly With Me.
According to The Guardian, one of the episodes in The Mighty Boosh sees Fielding putting on blackface to play a fictional musician named Howlin’ Jimmy Jefferson. In The League of Gentlemen, a character called Papa Lazarou stars as an eccentric circus ringmaster played and co-written by the show’s co-creator Reece Shearsmith.
Shearsmith recently divulged in an interview that he understood why the sketch might come across as offensive but claimed that “it was never an existing character. It was not me doing a black man.”
In its Australian and New Zealand offerings, the streaming service removed comedian Chris Lilley-starring shows, including Summer Heights High, Angry Boys, We Can Be Heroes, and Jonah From Tonga. Lilley’s role in Jonah From Tonga sees him in brown face, and the character is also a recurring role in Summer Heights High. The controversial comedian is known for his mockumentary-styled shows.
HBO Max also removed Oscar-winning 1939 film Gone with the Wind from its platform, as it included depictions of slavery and hurtful stereotypes of Black people. The company plans to offer the film once again but promises to detail its troubling narrative.
Netflix, on the other hand, has yet to confirm if it has any forthcoming plans surrounding withdrawn programs.
The move to pull racist-centered titles follows ongoing anti-racist protests that call for the end of systemic racial injustice and discrimination around the world.
The League of Gentlemen and The Mighty Boosh have been pulled from Netflix.— JOE (@JOE_co_uk) June 11, 2020
It follows Little Britain being removed from multiple streaming services because of its use of blackface. pic.twitter.com/rUbX0NIK6O
[via Vanity Fair, cover image via IMDb and IMDb]
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