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30 June 2020 10:33

Michael Jackson Wade Robson Gucci

Channel 4 says ‘erasing creative history is not a quick fix’ amid removals of shows with blackface

Channel 4 has said "erasing our creative history" is not a "quick fix" for issues such as racism, after Netflix removed a scene from its comedy Peep Show. The scene, which appears in the season two episode "Dance Class", first aired on Channel 4 in 2004 and sees Jez (Robert Webb) try to impress love interest Nancy (Rachel Blanchard) by breaking "sexual taboos", including wearing blackface. Jez questions the ethics of wearing blackface, saying that it "feels almost wrong" before asking, "Are you sure this isn't racist?", leading Nancy to reply, "We're breaking a taboo, of course, it feels wrong," and later add, "Jeremy, I come from America. The scene has been cut from the sitcom on Netflix, but is yet to be removed from Channel 4's own catch-up service All4. When asked by Newsweek whether Channel 4 would remove the scene, the broadcaster said it currently has no plans to do so.

A spokesperson told the publication many of the shows in their archive "reflect the time they were made and some contain content which could now be regarded as inappropriate". They added: "We understand the strong feelings provoked by some of this content but we do not believe that erasing our creative history is a quick fix for the issues affecting our society today. "Channel 4 is committed to inclusion and diversity and opposes discrimination in any form and therefore, having reflected deeply on this subject, we are undertaking a review of the principles governing how we handle historic programmes across our platforms." The removal of the Peep Show scene from Netflix comes after the platform removed The Mighty Boosh and The League of Gentlemen because of their use of blackface, with critics calling the move an "arbitrary gesture" that does little to combat racism. Netflix has cut a scene containing blackface from popular comedy series Peep Show. The series two episode Dance Class, which first aired on Channel 4 in 2004, sees Jeremy (played by Robert Webb) "black up" at the request of his new girlfriend Nancy (Rachel Blanchard) as they experiment in the bedroom.

The now-deleted scene sees Jez acknowledging how uncomfortable he feels while in blackface. "I've seen the problems race brings up." The scene finishes with Jeremy telling Nancy he feels too uncomfortable, before his flatmate Mark (David Mitchell) is shocked by Jeremy's appearance. Netflix documentaries, films and TV shows about race and racism 6 show all Netflix documentaries, films and TV shows about race and racism 1/6 When They See Us When They See Us is a harrowing dramatisation of the Central Park Five case of 1989. 1/6 When They See Us When They See Us is a harrowing dramatisation of the Central Park Five case of 1989. The scene is still featured in episode on Channel 4's on-demand service All 4, as well as widely available on YouTube.

Webb has previously spoken out about the use of blackface in the Peep Show episode. Speaking to Vice in 2015, he explained: "The whole comedy of that scene is that [Jez] is very, very worried about this, and it's Nancy's [his then-girlfriend] craziness and blithe… she's just a bit f****** stupid. "She's a self-conscious taboo breaker, so she's very aware of the taboo, whereas Jez is coming at it from a more sensible angle, that is, 'Let's not do this taboo.' The Mighty Boosh and The League of Gentlemen have also been pulled from Netflix due to blackface, while Little Britain was removed from all streaming platforms due to its pastiches of people of numerous ethnic minorities. Elsewhere, American platform HBO Max took the decision to remove classic movie Gone With the Wind after more fresh criticisms of its portrayal of black characters. A Peep Show scene showing Robert Webb in blackface has been edited out of the episode on Netflix, though it is still included in the Channel 4 version of the show.

In the scene, from series two, Robert Webb's character Jez 'blacks up' while experimenting in the bedroom with his American girlfriend Nancy, who is played by Rachel Blanchard. Nancy, portrayed as a 'taboo breaker' in the show, replies: 'We're breaking a taboo, of course, it feels wrong. I've seen the problems race brings up.' In the scene, from series two, Robert Webb's character Jez 'blacks up' while experimenting in the bedroom with his American girlfriend Nancy Played by Rachel Blanchard, the American girlfriend, is portrayed as a 'taboo breaker' in the show The move comes amid a backdrop of Black Lives Matter protests, with several shows and movies being removed for being culturally insensitive. A spokesperson for Channel 4 said: 'Channel 4 is currently undertaking a review of the principles governing how we handle historic programmes across our platforms. Though the scene has now been edited out on Netflix, it is still there on Channel 4's All 4 streaming service Speaking to Vice, he said: 'The episode where I wear blackface is the first thing that comes to mind, but the whole comedy of that scene is that [Jez] is very, very worried about this, and it's Nancy's [his then-girlfriend] craziness and blithe… she's just a bit f***ing stupid.

NETFLIX has removed a Peep Show sex scene where Jez wears blackface in the bedroom. Over the last few weeks, a number of shows have removed episodes or content as the re-evaluate their work for racial sensitivity. 4 Netflix has removed a Peep Show sex scene where Jez takes blackface to the bedroom Credit: Channel 4 Hit British shows such as Little Britain and Mighty Boosh have had episodes dropped for featuring blackface and now Peep Show, which ran from 2003 until 2015, has had a scene removed by streaming giant Netflix. Series two episode 'Dance Class' sees Jez - played by Robert Webb - 'black up' while he and girlfriend Nancy (Rachel Blanchard) experiment in the bedroom. But Nancy replies: "We're breaking a taboo, of course, it feels wrong. 4 Series two episode 'Dance Class' sees Jez - played by Robert Webb - 'black up' while he and girlfriend Nancy experiment in the bedroom. 4 Jez feels uncomfortable but Nancy thinks they are breaking taboos Credit: Channel 4 I've seen the problems race brings up." At present, the scene is still available to watch in the episode on Channel 4's streaming service. A spokesperson for Channel 4 told Metro.co.uk: "Channel 4 is currently undertaking a review of the principles governing how we handle historic programmes across our platforms. 4 The episode is currently still available to watch on Channel 4's streaming service Credit: Handout "Many shows reflect the time they were made and some contain content which could now be regarded as inappropriate. We understand the strong feelings provoked by some of this content but we do not believe that erasing our creative history is a quick fix for the issues affecting our society today. Channel 4 is committed to inclusion and diversity and opposes discrimination in any form and therefore, having reflected deeply on this subject, we are undertaking a review of the principles governing how we handle historic programmes across our platforms.