Lucas and Walliams defend Come Fly With Me
Andrew Mickel30 December 2010
Matt Lucas and David Walliams’s Christmas show ‘Come Fly With Me’ has sparked controversy after thousands of viewers complained to the BBC over the use of racist material.
The stars of Little Britain have faced a barrage of criticism over the one-off Christmas show, which saw the duo dress up as crew of a fictional low-cost airline.
In one of the show’s sketches, Lucas blacks up to play a Muslim character named Taaj, which many viewers likened to ‘ a minstrel show’ that was reminiscent of the comedy of the 1970s.
One viewer wrote to the BBC saying ‘Watching replay of Come Fly With Me. Black & White Minstrel Show comes to mind’, while others voiced concern over the racist portrayal of the characters in the show’.
Lucas has defended his show however, saying that… "Comedy has a social function and part of that function is to ruffle feathers. But it's not as scatological as Little Britain. There are no F-words or vomiting or peeing.
"Like in Little Britain we try to reflect, affectionately, the multicultural Britain we love. No offence is intended."
Telegraph columnist Michael Deacon also defended Lucas and Walliams, saying in his weekly column, “I don’t see that there is any particular significance in the race of the characters. In the case of the Muslim character, the joke is not that he is Muslim, but that he is sleazy.”
Other viewers simply found the show unfunny. A BBC spokesman said: "Come Fly With Me had a huge audience and many people loved it.
"Matt and David play all the characters and they are representing a multicultural society. They are not setting out to offend people."
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