Little Britain's racist, isn't it? Page 8

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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ArticulateMadness

  • Thursday 16th February 2017, 10:44am [Edited]
  • United States
  • 136 posts

From the start, Little Britain is letting you know they are out of f***s to give with their comedy. You dig it or you don't.

Is it racist? Well, not exactly. If anything it's more politically incorrect considering the climate of ultraconservativeness that plagues the demographic. They are just comedically saying what a lot of regular joes are saying in public and behind closed doors and trying satirically to bring a discussion to the forefront.

However, as seasons went on and they became more popular, society by and large took the message the WRONG WAY. They aren't a champion of xenophobia, but can be perceived that way because they are so biting at their stereotypes against women, minorities, and anyone that isn't a white British male. Even with poking fun at the LGBTQQAI community and with the disabled, it's easy for racist groups to champion them because they are pointing out a subliminal fact there are many in society that refuse to give you 100% rights or look at people as individuals if they aren't white, male, not gay, not disabled, and definitely not in an interracial relationship. And its tongue in cheek how they do it.

Honestly, this is what Python could have been when it was more politically incorrect but they didn't have the nerve.

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Paul Wimsett

  • Thursday 16th February 2017, 10:46am
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,195 posts

Er, I think Life of Brian was slightly more offensive than Little Britain?

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ArticulateMadness

  • Thursday 16th February 2017, 10:52am [Edited]
  • United States
  • 136 posts
Quote: Paul Wimsett @ 16th February 2017, 10:46 AM

Er, I think Life of Brian was slightly more offensive than Little Britain?

Well, Little Britain doing blackface/brown face on the first episode probably trumps any of the offenses in Life of Brian. Then again, I'm biased. Little Britain doing blackface or minstrel jokes in ANY capacity in America would start a national riot. Even the Benny Hill syndication eppys left his blackface out. That type of thing in the states because of the racial history and continued racial problems in the country would warrant a full scale hunt of all white people by black folks, and no network would dare air that. You're talking all types of groups leading the riots over that. Considering in Britain they had a different transition with black people post slavery and didn't spend 100 or more years forming terrorist groups to hunt them, dismantle rights, and trap them in another form of servitude devoid of civil liberties it might be seen as just a joke.

The black actors who appeared in this would have also been blackballed on both sides of the color line. Keep in mind, Savion Glover has been blackballed alongside Tommy Davidson for doing Bamboozled, and that was a political film. That topic of blackface is really a point of contention in the American strata far beyond how it may be perceived in other nations.

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fopdoodle

  • Thursday 16th February 2017, 1:41pm [Edited]
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 623 posts

On one of my comedy favourites, Room 101, Frank Skinner pointed out that it was accepted as non-racist to over enunciate words from an Italian menu (in their vernacular) in an Italian restaurant, but that we wouldn't DARE do it in a Chinese one.

In fact, rather than being racist to Italians, it could even be considered respectful (though most annoying to fellow diners - as Mel Giedroyc pointed out) but if anyone witnessed someone doing equivalent in a Chinese restaurant, it would be considered mockery and therefore racist. But I can't quite grasp why.

So I find anything that is politically incorrect, but not potentially 'racist' refreshing . . . as anything slightly dodgy regarding where one comes from geographically is now supposed to make us feel very uncomfortable, regardless of the intent.

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ArticulateMadness

  • Thursday 16th February 2017, 4:04pm [Edited]
  • United States
  • 136 posts
Quote: fopdoodle @ 16th February 2017, 1:41 PM

On one of my comedy favourites, Room 101, Frank Skinner pointed out that it was accepted as non-racist to over enunciate words from an Italian menu (in their vernacular) in an Italian restaurant, but that we wouldn't DARE do it in a Chinese one.

In fact, rather than being racist to Italians, it could even be considered respectful (though most annoying to fellow diners - as Mel Giedroyc pointed out) but if anyone witnessed someone doing equivalent in a Chinese restaurant, it would be considered mockery and therefore racist. But I can't quite grasp why.

So I find anything that is politically incorrect, but not potentially 'racist' refreshing . . . as anything slightly dodgy regarding where one comes from geographically is now supposed to make us feel very uncomfortable, regardless of the intent.

Well, while that argument might be valid for 98% of Little Britain, I don't think white people parading in blackface acting coonish falls into that category, and yes, it is mockery and racist. Again, as I said, this is cultural. The UK is a bit more on good relations with their previously enslaved Africans than the US is with theirs.

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Chappers

  • Thursday 16th February 2017, 9:25pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 30,413 posts
Quote: Paul Wimsett @ 16th February 2017, 10:46 AM

Er, I think Life of Brian was slightly more offensive than Little Britain?

As a Christian I don't find the Life of Brian offensive in the slightest.

(Neither do I find Little Britain offensive.)

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thelaughingsausage

  • Friday 14th July 2017, 3:39pm [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 12 posts
Quote: swerytd @ 1st April 2008, 1:27 PM

I think this in an important point, but not necessarily the next generation. There are a lot of people who don't get that the joke is on them and laugh along oblivious because of the (admittedly jokey) racist vibe, missing any post-modern ironic point about racism.

(Sez me, quoting but not really understanding what 'post-modern ironic' point actually is...)

But couldn't that fuel the racism rather than hinder it? However little they've meant to offend.

I've written articles myself where a lot of people didn't 'get' what I was saying and started having a go, and it was basically the irony that was missing in their lives. And, no, they weren't all American...

:)

Dan

Agreed. Think it's just changing attitudes, but I don't see it as racist. "Post-modern ironic" is a great term that I shall be using more :)

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ArticulateMadness

  • Monday 18th December 2017, 12:52pm
  • United States
  • 136 posts
Quote: thelaughingsausage @ 14th July 2017, 3:39 PM

Agreed. Think it's just changing attitudes, but I don't see it as racist. "Post-modern ironic" is a great term that I shall be using more :)

That may be true in the UK, but now in the US in a Trump presidency filled with a lot of racism, sexism, and homophobia, Little Britain doesn't have a chance in hell right now to be showed on network. As 40% of the Trumpistas are fighting for their god given right to be as despicable as possible to any race other than white, the changing attitude has now reversed into those of the original Birth of a Nation era, and would then be considered "inappropriate" by the states' network status.

As I said earlier in this thread, the UK has a different post slavery history with their black folks than America has with theirs. And now under Trump, there's no playing about the type of biting humor featured on Little Britain. Those are now official fighting words that can and will be used against others.

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Kapow

  • Monday 18th December 2017, 1:53pm
  • Almirante Brown, Argentina
  • 168 posts

It's not racist. Ian Foot is racist.

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ArticulateMadness

  • Monday 18th December 2017, 10:57pm
  • United States
  • 136 posts
Quote: Kapow @ 18th December 2017, 1:53 PM

It's not racist. Ian Foot is racist.

I am not familiar with Ian Foot, so I can't speak on that. Howsoever, my comments are more so regarded to the perception of them in America and not UK (which as I've said several times is not offensive by the historical context). When the show came to America, they retooled it with Harry J. Lennix (this was before Obama was president) and it was Little Britain America or something like that - still, it didn't make it past half a season. The original show aired very heavily two seasons on an obscure channel (not even a BBC America type) late in the wee hours of the morning like 2am or something. The minstrel blackface spoof was enough of an uproar for the entire show to be pulled from American syndication (and read my previous posts as to why that is).

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Chappers

  • Wednesday 20th December 2017, 12:06am
  • Surreyish., England
  • 30,413 posts

Because Americans don't have a sense of humour?

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ArticulateMadness

  • Wednesday 20th December 2017, 12:35am
  • United States
  • 136 posts
Quote: Chappers @ 20th December 2017, 12:06 AM

Because Americans don't have a sense of humour?

Considering the racial, sexual, gender related hostilities in the states, and a legacy of racism that still continues, no, most Americans would NOT find blackface humorous. In America, any white people doing blackface will get them beat, shot, stabbed, and quite possibly killed/targeted. There are some jokes in America due to their racial insensitivity of public policy that will never be tolerated and you just cannot do. And it doesn't help when you have a POTUS that says positive comments about Neo Nazis and KKK members as "lovely people" when they kill protestors protesting their hate at marches or beat and maime them.

Be thankful UK has a better working relationship with their black people where it hasn't gotten to that type of tipping point.

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Chappers

  • Wednesday 20th December 2017, 11:31pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 30,413 posts

POTUS?

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DaButt

  • Thursday 21st December 2017, 12:06am [Edited]
  • The Lone Star State, United States
  • 13,615 posts
Quote: Chappers @ 20th December 2017, 11:31 PM

POTUS?

President Of The United States. The president's wife is known as FLOTUS (First Lady Of The United States). And then there's SCOTUS (Supreme Court).