Axing of Little Britain, Chris Lilley shows from streaming services prompts outrage

Several controversial comedy TV shows have been pulled from streaming services across the globe due to their use of blackface and other inappropriate portrayals of people of colour.

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, four of comedian Chris Lilley's shows were removed from Netflix in Australia and New Zealand, while the BBC made the call to withdraw Little Britain from their iPlayer overseas.

Netflix UK also pulled The Mighty Boosh and The League of Gentlemen.

The removal of Lilley's shows Jonah From Tonga, Angry Boys, Summer Heights High and We Can Be Heroes sparked outrage on Twitter. Some of the most controversial characters played by Lilley include a polynesian teen called Jonah Takalua and an African American rapper called S Mouse, who frequently uses the N-word. 

"Chris Lilley creates great characters; it isn't racism," one Twitter user wrote. 

"What a bunch of snowflakes. He's hilarious! Jonah from Tonga makes me laugh hard! I'm Polynesian and a Ranga and loved the character. Seriously ppl laugh and grow a set!" said another. 

"Chris Lilley takes the piss out of us all, no one is safe, skin colour, ethnicity, nationality, gender etc and he is bloody funny and it’s not racist," offered a third. 

Conversely, some celebrated the decision by Netflix, calling Liley's work "unbelievably racist and unacceptable". 

"Good. Can we never see or hear of Chris Lilley again?" one Tweet asked. 

Meanwhile, the BBC released a statement about its call to pull Little Britain from their on demand platform, saying "times have changed". 

"There's a lot of historical programming available on BBC iPlayer, which we regularly review," a BBC spokesperson said.

"Times have changed since Little Britain first aired so it is not currently available on BBC iPlayer." 

The decision has triggered a similar wave of outrage from Little Britain fans online. 

"The woke mob has declared war on comedy, freedom and difference of opinion," one tweet read. 

"The minute we start censoring & sanitising comedy we're done," said another. 

Both Matt Lucas and David Walliams, the comedy duo behind Little Britain, have previously said they would do things differently if they made the show again. 

"If I could go back and do Little Britain again, I wouldn't make those jokes about transvestites. I wouldn't play black characters," Lucas said in 2017, per the BBC. 

"Basically, I wouldn't make that show now. It would upset people. We made a more cruel kind of comedy than I'd do now."