British Comedy Guide

Little Britain's racist, isn't it? Page 14

Little Britain. Image shows from L to R: Matt Lucas, David Walliams. Copyright: BBC / Little Britain Productions.

Little Britain

Matt Lucas and David Walliams take a comic look at British life in this character-based sketch series

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Stephen Goodlad

  • Sunday 7th January 2018, 5:02pm
  • Mirfield, England
  • 2,516 posts

Getting into the realms of fantasy a bit there Herc.
Unless you mean in 1946.

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Definitely Tarby

  • Sunday 7th January 2018, 9:49pm [Edited]
  • South South West, England
  • 899 posts

I don't understand how some DVDs of BBC sitcoms are still being made without some parts being edited out. There are some scenes from shows made long ago that have language you would never hear now so I don't understand why there are rules on what is and isn't acceptable but don't seem to apply to historic shows from the 70s and 80s. Perhaps it's because they are DVD releases and not being shown on TV but I would be interested to learn more about this if anyone can spill the beans.

As an example take the clip in Fawlty Towers where the Major uses two highly offensive words and I always cringe at that. I would be happier if it was cut from future copies of the DVD but that doesn't seem to be the case so how does all this work? I'm not saying I want all offensive words edited out but it comes down to context and that moment in Fawlty Towers is needless and goes too far.

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DaButt

  • Sunday 7th January 2018, 9:58pm
  • The Lone Star State, United States
  • 13,042 posts
Quote: Definitely Tarby @ 7th January 2018, 9:49 PM

I don't understand how some DVDs of BBC sitcoms are still being made without some parts being edited out. There are some scenes from shows made long ago that have language you would never hear now so I don't understand why there are rules on what is and isn't acceptable but don't seem to apply to historic shows from the 70s and 80s.

Censorship is typically bad, even if it's done in hindsight. Imagine all the great works of art and literature that might have been lost or eviscerated over the centuries as morals and religion ebbed and flowed across the world.

I love looking at old photographs of times long gone, because they give me an idea of what was really happening at that point in time, how things really looked. I'd hate for someone to colourize them and Photoshop them and "fix" them and edit them, because it destroys that authentic vision from a slice of time and replaces it with the vision that another person wants me to see, instead.

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Chappers

  • Sunday 7th January 2018, 10:03pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 28,621 posts
Quote: Definitely Tarby @ 7th January 2018, 9:49 PM

I don't understand how some DVDs of BBC sitcoms are still being made without some parts being edited out. There are some scenes from shows made long ago that have language you would never hear now so I don't understand why there are rules on what is and isn't acceptable but don't seem to apply to historic shows from the 70s and 80s. Perhaps it's because they are DVD releases and not being shown on TV but I would be interested to learn more about this if anyone can spill the beans.

As an example take the clip in Fawlty Towers where the Major uses two highly offensive words and I always cringe at that. I would be happier if it was cut from future copies of the DVD but that doesn't seem to be the case so how does all this work? I'm not saying I want all offensive words edited out but it comes down to context and that moment in Fawlty Towers is needless and goes too far.

What you find offensive others might not and what you find inoffensive others might offend others. It's not up to you to judge. With a DVD you can choose to watch it or not.

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zooo

  • Sunday 7th January 2018, 10:06pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 69,050 posts
Quote: DaButt @ 7th January 2018, 9:58 PM

I love looking at old photographs of times long gone, because they give me an idea of what was really happening at that point in time, how things really looked. I'd hate for someone to colourize them and Photoshop them and "fix" them and edit them, because it destroys that authentic vision from a slice of time and replaces it with the vision that another person wants me to see, instead.

I LOVE it when people colourise old black and white photos!
Makes them feel so much more raw and real.
The black and white originals still exist, of course.

Obviously photoshopping or altering them in any other way would be horrific.

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Aaron

  • Sunday 7th January 2018, 10:45pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 67,751 posts
Quote: Definitely Tarby @ 7th January 2018, 9:49 PM

I don't understand how some DVDs of BBC sitcoms are still being made without some parts being edited out. There are some scenes from shows made long ago that have language you would never hear now so I don't understand why there are rules on what is and isn't acceptable but don't seem to apply to historic shows from the 70s and 80s. Perhaps it's because they are DVD releases and not being shown on TV but I would be interested to learn more about this if anyone can spill the beans.

What Chappers said. The reason is that you're making an explicit choice, opting-in to that content by buying it. A TV broadcast is beamed at you; yes you can choose to change channel or turn the set off, but the moaners moan far more readily.

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Nick

  • Monday 8th January 2018, 6:16am
  • Japan
  • 818 posts

I agree with the previous comments made and hope that we never reach the stage where DVDs have to be censored in this way.

And with regard to Fawlty Towers specifically, there is nothing wrong with that scene because context is everything. The Major obviously does use racist language in his anecdote, but we see from Basil's reaction that he does not consider this to be funny or acceptable. The joke is about the Major's stupidity and not about how funny racism is.

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ArticulateMadness

  • Monday 8th January 2018, 6:47am
  • United States
  • 101 posts
Quote: Definitely Tarby @ 7th January 2018, 9:49 PM

I don't understand how some DVDs of BBC sitcoms are still being made without some parts being edited out. There are some scenes from shows made long ago that have language you would never hear now so I don't understand why there are rules on what is and isn't acceptable but don't seem to apply to historic shows from the 70s and 80s. Perhaps it's because they are DVD releases and not being shown on TV but I would be interested to learn more about this if anyone can spill the beans.

Depends on the company manufacturing the box sets. If it is the complete, unedited version compilation, it won't be edited out. However, if it is a "best of" type of thing, or the syndicated release it will be edited. The best example I can give of this is Benny Hill's stuff (granted, its BBC and Thames). On international box sets you will NEVER find the australia eppy where he does Archie's Angels, which is considered a bit offensive for nudity, the mocking of rape, racial commentary, and so on. On American box sets that is omitted plus anything that has nudity. When A&E (an American cable channel) released the last box set (the unadulterated set) they cut all the nudity out (via pan and scan) but left everything else considered offensive and also omitted that Australia version. However, when HBO released their Golden set, they cut all the racially sensitive stuff out, the nudity, the cursing, and anything sexually suggestive and re-ordered/re-edited the material from its original state.

I personally hate censorship of any kind, even if I'm not a fan of the source material. I've seen eppys of Bless This House edited for "tastes" and they lose their meaning from the original. I think however the show originally aired is how it should stay - censorship is a slippery slope that goes to hell quick. Deleting it would mean deleting its context, and make for boring analysis if everything was G rated.

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Chappers

  • Monday 8th January 2018, 11:00pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 28,621 posts

If you're going to edit or censor on the grounds of taste then a Friends Box Set wouldn't last long.

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Definitely Tarby

  • Wednesday 10th January 2018, 9:36pm
  • South South West, England
  • 899 posts
Quote: Chappers @ 8th January 2018, 11:00 PM

If you're going to edit or censor on the grounds of taste then a Friends Box Set wouldn't last long.

:D ah point taken!

Thanks for the responses and I didn't mean to sound like a Mary Whitehouse type about it.

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