Little Britain removed from Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Britbox: “Times have changed”

The 2003 series, starring David Walliams and Matt Lucas, was moved from the streamers on over the past few days.

Matt Lucas David Walliams Little Britain

Netflix, BBC iPlayer and BritBox have removed controversial sketch show Little Britain from their services amid criticism of the use of blackface in the programme.

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Netflix axed the series on Friday, which ran from 2003 until 2007, along with Matt Lucas and David Walliams’ second sketch show Come Fly With Me in an apparent reaction to the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests across the world.

BBC iPlayer dropped Little Britain from its on-demand collection on Monday, telling 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.”

Britbox, which streams BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 programmes, followed suit, with a spokesperson commenting: “Times have changed since Little Britain first aired, so it is not currently available on BritBox. Come Fly With Me has not been available on the service for six months.”

When approached by RadioTimes.com, Netflix declined to comment.

RadioTimes.com has also reached out to Walliams, Lucas, BBC iPlayer, and BritBox asking for comment.

Both shows have attracted criticism since their time on BBC One, particularly in relation to Walliams’ appearance when playing health retreat guest Desiree Devere in Little Britain, Come Fly With Me’s passenger liaison officer Moses Beacon and airline mogul Omar Baba. While, Matt Lucas came under fire for playing Jamaican coffee kiosk manager Precious Little.

In 2017, Matt Lucas told Big Issue that he would remake Little Britain differently in this age, saying: “I wouldn’t make those jokes about transvestites. I wouldn’t play black characters.” Walliams, meanwhile, has previously said that he would “definitely do it differently” in today’s cultural landscape.

However, the pair reprised a few of their characters for Comic Relief and Children in Need’s Big Night In two months ago.

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