It really is political correctness gone mad.
When it comes to Television my motto is “If you don’t like it,don’t watch it”. Unfortunately not everyone in Britain is quite so relaxed about it.
We have lost and been denied some great, perfectly innocent shows over the years thanks to the PC brigade,here are some we’ll never get,or never get back:
Massively popular in the 1970’s,Love thy neighbour featured Jack Smethurst ad Eddie Booth, an uptight white man who is appalled to find out that a black couple has moved in next door. Bill Reynolds (played by Rudolph Walker) is more than aware of Booth’s intolerance and the pair do everything they can to irritate each other.
The language caused huge contrversy when the show was first released.Booth referred to Reynolds and his wife as the nig nogs from next door and made implications that they were savages. The show also featured racism from Reynolds, referring to him as honky,snowflake,paleface and big white chief.
The show received the most complaints after featuring Reynolds dressed up in a tribal costume and when Booth enters the room,he shouts “put another white man on the fire!” brandishing a spear! He then goes on to say that he did that because that is what Booth thinks of black people, he thinks they are savages.
Whilst Booth is portrayed as both ignorant and stupid, Reynold’s is portrayed as intelligent and well educated,both are equally stubborn.
This was a long running show,starting in 1958 and ending in 1978. It was a variety show featuring American Minstrel and country songs as well as musical numbers. The performers had their faces painted black and wore extravagant costumes. With a regular audience of ober 18 million, it ran for 6,477 performances taing it into the Guiness book of world records as the stage show viewed by the largest number of people.
The show was also one of the first to be broadcast in colour by the BBC. Despite it’s obvious popularity some people were appalled at it’s portrayl of “black” people behaving in what they called a sterotypical manner. The BBC received a petition in 1967 to end the show.One person who did not agree was black comedian Lenny Henry who started his career on the show as a comedy interlude.
Despite running for only 39 episodes “The Honeymooners” is immensely popular in America (I’m told it’s an institution). The show featured Jackie Gleeson as Ralph Kramden,a frustrated bus driver for the Gotham Bus company. His wife Alice Kramden (played by Audrey Meadows) is patient and level headed. When Ralph’s get rich quick schemes inevitably fail, he becomes bad tempered and often threatens (quite an empty threat though) to hit her,using his famous line “one of these days…” She is totally unaffected as she doesn’t believe he would hit her. Despite his insults and threats,he is also seen as a loving husband and a caring friend.
Again, a BBC programme. This time set in a London school with foreign pupils attending and English as a second language class. Whilst some of the humour stemmed from simple misinterpretations of the English language, people objected to the obvious stereotyping of other cultures.
Although the sterotypes were blatant, the show did get ethnic minorities onto the television when they would not have had a chance at the time,even if their characters were less than favourable. The show got round claims of racism by calling itself a multiculturalist comedy.
Yes,you read it right, The Gingerbread man,seriously. The cartoon show features a gingerbread man that comes to life and lives on the dresser with his friends Mr Salt, Miss Pepper,Herr Von Cuckoo and The old bag.
The show received a staggering number of complaints claiming that the show was full of stereotypes. Mr Salt (a salt cellar,naturally) was a sailor and people claimed he spoke like a pirate! Herr Von Cuckoo (a cuckoo from the clock) was dressed as a Bavarian and people were actually complaining that he spoke with a German accent and walked with his legs too stiff (I think they were making Nazi implications) He was made of wood! Anybody’s legs would be stiff if they were made of wood!
The old bag was grumpy,bad tempered and never wanted to talk to anybody she often complained that the others were making too much noise,people said that this was also offensive to elderly people and calling her an “old bag” was wrong,but in their defence SHE WAS A TEABAG!
Sleek the mouse was a new york gangster,who,it was said gave children a bad image of Americans as sleek was rude and sneaky and a thief. I watched it as a child and I dont think that all Americans are rude,sneaky,thieves or gangsters!
You’re not even allowed to call them Gingerbread men anymore,you have to call them Gingerbread people.