Little Britain stars Matt Lucas and David Williams have publicly apologized for “playing other characters” on their TV show.
The comedy duo used Blackface and make-up to portray different characters in the sketch show Little Britain and their 2010 show Come Fly With Me. Last week, both were removed from BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Britbox (in various ways). Broadcasters have reconsidered whether they want these shows on their platform.
On Saturday night, Lucas and Williams tweeted with statements about their “regrets”.
They noted that “in recent years we have both publicly expressed our regret that we have played other racing characters,” adding: “We want to make it clear again that this was wrong and we are very sorry.”
Matt and I have both publicly expressed our regret in recent years that we have played other racing characters. We want to make it clear again that it was wrong and we are very sorry.
– David Williams (@ DavidWilliams) June 13, 2020
In 2017, Lucas said: “If I could go back to Little Britain again, I wouldn’t make these jokes about Transit. I wouldn’t play black characters. Basically, I wouldn’t show it now. It would annoy people. I’m more cruel than I am now. I did some kind of comedy. “
Williams was more reserved on the subject in 2018, telling the Radio Times that he would “obviously do it differently” in today’s culture because “now is a different time.”
He added: “Any comedy you want to do differently … it’s hard to say exactly how it will be different. There are all kinds of tolerances that change. People now understand people’s predictions better. Maybe it’s, ‘We see it differently.’ , We got more information, ‘and that would be a different joke.
“I will not deny anything because I think you will be able to make fun of everyone. Otherwise there is no point in joking.
In Little Britain, which aired from 2003 to 2006, Williams used Blackface and an Afro wig to play Digiri Div, and Lucas Pastor played Jesse King. Esso Fly with Me, promoted in 2010, and criticized for its use of blackface and ethnic stereotyping.
Three years ago, David Williams also faced criticism for his “yellowflower” Kim Jong-un Halloween costume.