23:39 GMT12 July 2020
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    Black Lives Matter Protests Sweep Across Globe Following Death of George Floyd (121)
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    Amid protests against police violence and racism, sparked in the US by the death of black man George Floyd in police detention, UK broadcasters have been re-assessing some old television content, with comedy show Little Britain pulled from streaming services for imitating characters of other races.

    Sky Cinema's pay-per-view film service has warned its viewers that a spate of movies, such as The Jungle Book, Aladdin, Dumbo and Aliens have “outdated attitudes, languages and cultural depictions which may cause offence today”, reported The Sun.

    Broadcasters in the UK have been driven to review the content of television shows and films after the death of African American George Floyd while in the US police custody and the subsequent protests against systemic racism and police brutality.

    The Comcast-owned media giant presented its subscribers with a disclaimer that made reference to sixteen films, such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Goonies, Aladdin, Dumbo, Gone With The Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Tropic Thunder, The Jazz Singer, The Littlest Rebel, The Lone Ranger, Balls of Fury, The Jungle Book, Flash Gordon, and The Last Samurai.

    ​While remakes of Aladdin, The Jungle Book and Dumbo were also issued the disclaimer, it was shortly removed as a “mistake”, reports the outlet.

    A Sky spokesperson was quoted as saying:

    "Sky is committed to supporting anti-racism and improving diversity and inclusion both on and off-screen. We constantly review all content on Sky's owned channels and will take action where necessary including adding additional information for our customer to allow them to make an informed decision when deciding what films and TV shows to watch."

    Censorious Action

    Among the films that were slammed with the censorious action, Aladdin, filmed in 1992, was deemed at fault for use of Orientalist stereotypes. As white actors had dubbed the animated characters of Aladdin, Princess Jasmine and the genie, the casting was also called into question.

    Black crows using “jive-like speech patterns” in the original Dumbo animation were slammed as racist stereotypes of African Americans, while the principal feathered character, dubbed by a white actor, bore the name of Jim Crow, the name given to US state and local statutes that legalized racial segregation.

    Gone With The Wind, the iconic romance filmed in 1939 and set during the American Civil War and Reconstruction, was also issued with a disclaimer.

    Earlier in June HBO announced it was pulling the film from its streaming platform HBO Max, claiming it "depicted ethnic and racial prejudices" that were "wrong then and are wrong today".

    The film narrating the story of Scarlett O'Hara, daughter of a Georgia plantation owner, depicted several slave characters in as happy servants, loyal to their owners even after slavery was abolished.

    HBO added that the film would return to HBO Max "as it was originally created" with a discussion of its historical context.

    Gone With The Wind featuring McDaniel & de Havilland & Leigh
    © CC0
    Gone With The Wind featuring McDaniel & de Havilland & Leigh

    The current developments come amid worldwide protests against racial discrimination, with a spate of companies reassessing their content.

    ​Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and BritBox recently axed the sketch comedy show Little Britain, where comedians Matt Lucas and David Walliams sparked controversy over their use of blackface characters while occasionally portraying people from different ethnic backgrounds.

    Actors, writers, and executive producers David Walliams, left, and Matt Lucas, from the upcoming HBO comedy series Little Britain USA,  speak during the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Thursday, July 10, 2008.
    © AP Photo / Matt Sayles
    Actors, writers, and executive producers David Walliams, left, and Matt Lucas, from the upcoming HBO comedy series "Little Britain USA", speak during the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Thursday, July 10, 2008.

    Netizens who weighed in on the move by the broadcaster were split in their reactions. Some applauded the decision to issue an advisory.

    ​Others slammed the move as “bending over backwards”.

    ​On 25 May, an African-American resident of Minneapolis, George Floyd, was killed in police custody after a white officer involved in the arrest knelt on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.

    A participant holding a sign reading Black Lives Matter takes part in an All Black Lives Matter march, organized by Black LGBTQ+ leaders, in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 14, 2020
    © REUTERS / Ringo Chiu
    A participant holding a sign reading "Black Lives Matter" takes part in an All Black Lives Matter march, organized by Black LGBTQ+ leaders, in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 14, 2020

    The footage of the incident set off an ongoing wave of protests against racism and police brutality across the United States and many other cities around the world.

     

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    Black Lives Matter Protests Sweep Across Globe Following Death of George Floyd (121)

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    systematic racism, Racism, racism, Gone With The Wind, Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, George Floyd, George Floyd killing
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