UKTV Removes Fawlty Towers’ Episode as Streaming Services Continue Scrutiny of Controversial Content


Image courtesy: British Comedy Guide/ Twitter

Image courtesy: British Comedy Guide/ Twitter

After Netflix removed four of Chris Lilley’s TV shows and HBO Max withdrew ‘Gone With The Wind’, UKTV pulls down an episode of 1970s sitcom, ‘Fawlty Towers’.

  • Last Updated: June 12, 2020, 11:16 AM IST

In the wake of Black Lives Matter movement and protests against police brutality and racism, streaming-video services are reviewing their content for controversial material. While Netflix removed four of Chris Lilley’s TV shows for racial depictions, including the critically acclaimed Summer Heights High, HBO Max withdrew Hollywood classic, Gone With The Wind.

As broadcasters continue the scrutiny of old British television content, an episode of Fawlty Towers has been taken down from a BBC-owned streaming service. The episode of the 1970s sitcom, which has the popular dialogue ‘Don’t mention the war’, mouthed by John Cleese as Basil Fawlty has been pulled down from UKTV catch-up service.

Sharing an update on Fawlty Towers for the viewers, UKTV, in a tweet said that it was temporarily removing The Germans, the final episode of the first season. The episode includes a scene where regular hotel guest uses strong racist language about the West Indies cricket team.

“The episode contains racial slurs so we are taking the episode down while we review it,” UKTV said in a tweet, adding, “We want to take time to consider our options for this episode.”

It is also reported that Inc. is considering to pull down the television show The Dukes of Hazzard from its video-streaming service, as it potentially contains offensive material. The popular 1970s and ’80s CBS show featured a car embellished with the Confederate flag and dubbed the General Lee jumping over gulches in high-speed police chases.

Meanwhile, demonstrations have swept the United States since the May 25 killing of African American George Floyd while in police custody, with calls growing for police reform and the broader removal of symbols of a racist legacy, including monuments to the slave-holding Confederacy.

Floyd died last month as a white Minneapolis officer pressed a knee into his neck for almost nine minutes. The officer has been charged with second-degree murder.

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