Sorry, not flying with you
Yesterday I caught up with the first episode of BBC’s Come Fly with Me, the new show by Matt Lucas and David Walliams, of Little Britain fame. Holly minstrel show! Black face in the 21st century, presented as comedy? I could have watched the second episode as well but I truly couldn’t bring myself to witness more of that racist disaster.
Those two always walked a fine line between scatological humor and well executed parody and, for the most part, they were always successful. Not so with this new show which included, if I recall correctly 1) A black face character of a woman who supposedly hails from the West Indies. If black face wasn’t enough, they had to give her a faux (very pronounced) accent and poor working ethics 2) A black face supposedly Muslim Pakistani airport worker who drives around in a cart, oversexed, sexist and crossing the line of sexual harassment of his fellow airport employees (HAR HAR the oversexed, frustrated and inappropriate Muslim! How original! We’ve never heard that one before!) 3) two yellow face (including mock eyelids) Japanese schoolgirls, together with stereotypical mannerisms and broken, accented English 4) Yet another black face man of undetermined Middle Eastern origin, again, with faux accent and questionable working ethics.
And these are just the ones I can remember. In the course of one hour, packed with every racist stereotype we thought we had left behind. The worst part is that it wasn’t even funny. It was poorly executed comedy. This morning I thought to google the show to find a few photos (which I am not posting because they offend me and I assume they will offend others as well) and found out that the British public has, indeed, complained to the BBC over this colonial train wreck. This article at the Daily Mail has more details and photos for those who might be interested in checking out these characters. I must warn you, though: you might wonder if you suddenly woke up in the 19th century.
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