The League of Gentlemen and The Mighty Boosh are to remain on the BBC iPlayer despite being removed from Netflix amid objections about the use of blackface.
The Mighty Boosh’s Spirit of Jazz and The League of Gentlemen’s Papa Lazarou were both white actors in dark make-up.
BBC director general Tony Hall said the corporation was “constantly assessing whether things feel appropriate”.
Both platforms have removed Little Britain. A BBC spokesman said: “The change only affects Little Britain.”
Asked about the League of Gentlemen and Australian comedy Summer Heights High, Lord Hall told BBC Radio 4’s Front Row: “We constantly are looking at what’s appropriate and reassessing, and coming to a balance between what we think people want to watch or what reflects the times [when] those pieces were made, and what feels right now.
“You are constantly assessing whether things feel appropriate for the audiences and the contexts in which we are all broadcasting.”
- Little Britain: Should we switch off the past?
- Little Britain pulled from iPlayer and Netflix
Elsewhere, 1939 film Gone With The Wind has been removed from HBO Max but will return with a “discussion of its historical context”.
Lord Hall said the context of a film or programme was “really, really important”.
He said: “Using art, film, comedy, whatever, to help put context on the way that people thought, the way they behaved, and make that come to light now, and help us with the issues we’re currently dealing with, I think is really important.
“We all need that context and we need that history.”
Meanwhile, comedian Harry Enfield defended his use of blackface “several times in the past”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he had portrayed his “hero”, former South African President Nelson Mandela, as a drug dealer, “which I thought was so wrong that it was right”.
The point was “to show how preposterous it was to have this stereotype” of black people, Enfield explained.
He said: “I wouldn’t do it now, but I don’t think I regret it.” He added: “I definitely think there should still be a conversation about it.”
Enfield said he had played four past prime ministers, and if current Chancellor Rishi Sunak was to get into Number 10, he would “find it difficult that I would not be able to play him because of the colour of his skin”.
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