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Episode of UK sitcom 'Fawlty Towers' pulled over racist slurs

25 Comments
By PAN PYLAS

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Orwellian!

9 ( +11 / -2 )

In retrospect, some of Little Britain was potentially a bit offensive.

The Germans is probably the best known of all Fawlty Towers episodes. Ask any Brit to say a line from Fawlty Towers and most of them will reply, "Don't mention the war!"

The episode will be back, after hypersensitive executives finished wringing their hands.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

A BBC-owned company does this to the sitcom named 'Best Sitcom of All Time' in its own BBC Radio Times Magazine back in 2019. Just because someone who can't comprehend the difference between a character and real life might find it offensive.

As Basil might have said - Stark, Staring, Bonkers.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Should be noted that the "don't mention the war" scene presents a stereotype....of British people.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Should be noted that the "don't mention the war" scene presents a stereotype....of British people.

Yep, and the Major is a stereotype of an crusty old reactionary still found today supporting Nigel Farage. Part of the reason why Fawlty Towers is so good is that it is brilliantly observed.

Looks like that may be lost on some people.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Just as long as they don't touch the episode "Waldorf Salad."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just as long as they don't touch the episode "Waldorf Salad."

Americans might be offended as being portrayed as loud, brash and over-bearing.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

They're going to have to remove every episode in which Manuel appeared...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The BBC version was edited in 2013 to remove the offensive words from the Major in 2013. Cleese as the writer agreed to it. This version on the streaming service was never edited and still contains the controversial content, which is probably why it was pulled this time. None of the stuff about "the Germans" is remotely an issue. It is a couple of expressions by the Major about Indians and West Indians that aren't anything to do with the episode. Which is probably why Cleese himself agreed to the BBC removing them in 2013.

All this is nuance of course, and we increasing live in a world where people do not take the time to listen to it or think about it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This woke crap is getting really hard to try to put up with!!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

“If you put nonsense words into the mouth of someone you want to make fun of, you’re not broadcasting their views, you’re making fun of them. The major was an old fossil left over from decades before. We were not supporting his views, we were making fun of them. If they can’t see that – if people are too stupid to see that – what can one say?”

John Cleese

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It’s been reinstated. Back on UkTV from today.

if you start scrapping films and shows because of potential offence you will open Pandora’s box. Miissippi burning, American history X, Boys in hood, 12yrs a slave. Don’t all these contain controversial content they may offend certain groups or is it ok to offend some but not others..

I watched shows from the 50s/ 60s as a teenager in the 80s and was able to put it into context as ‘it was different back then’ why the heck can’t people do that today.
5 ( +6 / -1 )

I watched shows from the 50s/ 60s as a teenager in the 80s and was able to put it into context as ‘it was different back then’ why the heck can’t people do that today.

That, mate, is the question du jour.

Strikes me that one other show that's in danger from wonky latter-day reinterpretation is Till Death Us Do Part (US version All In The Family). When I watched it, everyone knew that Alf Garnett's racist, xenophobic rants were the pitiable and ridiculous ravings of a poor old geezer who'd been left behind by the modern world and had nothing to sustain him but his prejudices. He wasn't a mouthpiece, he was an object of scorn and pity, and people laughed at him, not with him.

What would UK-TV make of Alf Garnett now?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He wasn't a mouthpiece, he was an object of scorn and pity, and people laughed at him, not with him.

Did you know that a lot of people didn't laugh at him, but rather with him?

The actor, Warren Mitchell, told of how people would come up to him and tell him how much they agreed and that it was great that he was telling the truth. They never realised that the Garnet character was mocking them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Orwellian!

So Orwellian that the decision has already been reversed.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Did you know that a lot of people didn't laugh at him, but rather with him?

No, I didn't know that, but now that you bring it up it seems pretty likely. Just goes to show how thick some people can be, eh?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Orwellian!

Good thing that the word “Orwellian” means “thing I don’t like”, or this post would look absurd.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Re the German bits. My brother who lives in Germany told me that it is very popular there. And the Germans generally love all the sterotypes in 'Allo 'Allo too. Glad we are still allowed to laugh at the past.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

PC gone crazy, again.

They’ll want the pyramids torn down next, because they were built by slaves

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Ah_soToday 03:21 pm JST

He wasn't a mouthpiece, he was an object of scorn and pity, and people laughed at him, not with him.

Did you know that a lot of people didn't laugh at him, but rather with him?

The actor, Warren Mitchell, told of how people would come up to him and tell him how much they agreed and that it was great that he was telling the truth. They never realised that the Garnet character was mocking them.

One interesting point about Till Death is that the great actor Warren Mitchell was a Labour-voting, Jewish, Spurs fan from Hackney, about as dissimilar to Alf Garnett's pig ignorant bigot as you can get.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

JimizoToday  10:15 am JST

Should be noted that the "don't mention the war" scene presents a stereotype....of British people.*

Yep, and the Major is a stereotype of an crusty old reactionary still found today supporting Nigel Farage. Part of the reason why Fawlty Towers is so good is that it is brilliantly observed. 

Looks like that may be lost on some people.

”Papers arrived yet, Fawlty?”

I couldn’t resist!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Met Warren Mitchell several times and he came to our house parties in Hampstead London. Just an ordinary decent bloke is what I would describe him.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Had mighty laughs watching faulty towers. Manuel the Spanish waiter did it for me, but bits deemed offensive should clipped..... But I hope nobody would want to look into " Mind your language" for stereotyping.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It would be nice if people could focus on the actual problems. All this statue and video removal is not going to do a single thing to prevent the next George Floyd.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

UKTV has reconsidered and is unbanning the episode.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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