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Film and TV

DVD sales for Little Britain, pulled from streaming services for abhorrent use of Blackface, are up more than 200,000 per cent

Emma Powys Maurice June 10, 2020
Little Britain

David Walliams and Matt Lucas in character for a Little Britain book signing in 2004 (Fred Duval/FilmMagic)

Sales of Little Britain box sets have risen by more than 200,000 per cent on Amazon since the show was removed from British streaming platforms.

BBC iPlayer, Britbox and Netflix all pulled the sketch show because of its use of Blackface, it was announced Tuesday (June 9).

Announcing the decision to remove the show, a BBC spokesperson told The Daily Mail: “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.”

Walliams and Lucas’ follow up show, Come Fly With Me, was also removed from BBC iPlayer and Netflix for the same reason.

The move has significantly boosted DVD sales of both shows, with Amazon figures indicating that they were among the biggest gainers in sales ranks over the past 24 hours.

Series one of Little Britain is in the top spot with a sales jump of 125,460 per cent, and in second place is the box set for series one and two, with sales rising by 112,928 per cent. The third season is in third place with a sales jump of 98,513 per cent.

In total, DVDs for Little Britain and Come Fly With Me currently comprise 13 of the top 20 spots of Amazon’s biggest gainers in the DVD and Blu Ray category.

They are joined by four separate editions of Gone with the Wind, which has also been pulled from HBO Max for its depictions of “ethnic and racial prejudices”.

PinkNews reached out to Amazon for comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.

Little Britain returned in 2020 with anti-trans humour.

Little Britain has long attracted criticism for its offensive humour, including its depiction of “portly Thai bride” Ting Tong, played by Matt Lucas, a white man, and that of Desiree DeVere, a Black woman played by David Walliams in full Blackface.

Critics have also voiced outrage over the show’s “I’m a lady” sketches where the pair don women’s clothes and facial hair.

Lucas has previously expressed his regret at Little Britain‘s use of Blackface and anti-trans jokes, describing it more than a decade on as a “cruel kind of comedy”.

Nevertheless, the comedian teamed up with Walliams in April for a revival of the “I’m a lady” sketch. It saw the duo play Emily and Florence, two transvestites who attempt – and fail – to pass as high-society ladies for BBC’s Big Night In.

Walliams notable opted not to don Blackface this time around, but did not extend the same consideration to his anti-trans sketch.

 

More: blackface, Come Fly With Me, David Walliams, Little Britain, Matt Lucas, racism

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