‘Little Britain or Little Racist Wonderland?’: Anti-racism hasn’t come far enough, clearly


Little Britain was recently taken off the air due to the recent enlightenment of racial awareness and cancel culture.

Some are mourning the loss of what was once a successful show. At the same time, others are celebrating that a show which courted those who enjoy the discriminatory jokes against minorities, the LGBTQ+ community, and women, is finally off the air.

I am here to say that I am one of those who will be celebrating the demise of a show that serves no benefit to our modern-day progressive values.

When Netflix pulled Matt Lucas and David Walliams’, Little Britain, I cannot lie and say that I did not celebrate the end of that televised insult. It is a show that mocks minorities in a discriminatory way that fails any attempt at being “banter”.

In 2017, Lucas said: “If I could go back and do Little Britain again, I wouldn’t make those jokes about transvestites. I wouldn’t play black characters. I wouldn’t make that show now. It would upset people. We made a more cruel kind of comedy than I’d do now.”

Hence, why should we glorify a show that even the main actor disagrees with? The glorification of this disturbing show is rather alarming.

Almost half of trans people in Britain have attempted suicide at least once while 84% have thought about it. More than half have been diagnosed with depression at some point; and there is severe legal and social discrimination against members of the trans community on a daily and systemic basis. Hence the sketch of “transvestism” surely should not be acceptable?

But this was not the case.

As soon as Little Britain (and its equally-appalling cousin, Come Fly with Me) was taken off Netflix, the comments swarmed in. According to the dark corners of the YouTube comment threads, us snowflakes need to “stop this cancel culture” and “grow up.”

This only highlights how a show that appealed and sought out those who enjoy these sketches might contain some homophobic mentality, blatantly ignorant of the real-life legitimate concerns. It’s disconcerting to see people so enthusiastically fight for something that is so harmful to so many people.

While I do sympathise that cancel culture can be a bit too aggressive, it has its purpose. The misconception of “cancel culture” is that it erases history. This is not true. Cancel culture serves as a gateway to a more progressive future, highlighting the moves we make as a society to better ourselves. Thus having this show on streaming platforms is a hindrance and counterproductive measure to convey how progressive we are.

To conclude, the fall of Little Britain and Come Fly with Me should be a call for celebration, not despair (or hate-fuelled troll comments on Facebook posts). This show has moved beyond its place in society and we should be glad.

If we call ourselves a progressive nation then we need to be committed to it. We have to be forceful in making sure that all entertainment is held to this standard.

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