BBC puts disclaimers for certain 'offensive' 'Blackadder', 'Fresh Prince' episodes

Shubham Dasgupta
·2-min read


BBC puts disclaimers for certain
BBC puts disclaimers for certain

14 Feb 2021: BBC puts disclaimers for certain 'offensive' 'Blackadder', 'Fresh Prince' episodes

Generations-old entertainment pieces cannot be held accountable for their content that might be hurtful now, because they are representative of the age when they were made.

However, we can definitely add disclaimers before airing them.

That's why BBC has been putting woke warning messages on certain episodes of its popular titles such as Blackadder and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Reunion for safer viewing.

Hurtful pun: Atkinson's series in soup for using the word 'Chocos'

In Blackadder, Rowan Atkinson's character clashes with Dougal MacAngus over the latter getting a part of his land for good service.

He contests MacAngus's grounds of being rewarded his land after "slaughtering a couple of Chocos."

That's slang for black people.

This happens in the second episode and now, it has the disclaimer: "Contains discriminatory language and content that some viewers may find offensive."

Others: Also included: 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,' 'Dad's Army'

Blackadder was released way back in the 1980s, but even the latest titles like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion, released in 2020, hurt many, despite providing ample fun and joy.

Few other titles to get this disclaimer recently include The Royle Family, Fawlty Towers, and Dad's Army.

BBC told that the move is to inform viewers about "offensive, inappropriate or outdated" content.

References: 'Flash Gordon' was termed 'dubious if not outright offensive'

Last year, Flash Gordon (1980) faced the wrath of the UK film censors on similar lines.

In it, Swedish actor Max Von Sydow plays the East Asian role of Ming the Merciless and this was considered "dubious if not outright offensive."

Further, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) gave its reissue a 12A rating, which is stricter than the A rating.

Fact: Even 'Gone with the Wind' is no exception

Even US streamers are adding identical warnings. Early last year, HBO Max put a warning on Gone with the Wind for apparently denying "horrors of slavery." The 1939 film won 10 Oscars, including one for Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American to win the award.

Argument: 'A reflection of the period in which it was made'

Talking about steps taken to reclassify older films, BBFC senior policy officer Matt Tindall explained that it was never a creator's intention to discriminate but "just a reflection of the period in which it was made."

Portrayal of Vietnam vets on Forrest Gump and Arabs on True Lies are guilty too.

Even F.R.I.E.N.D.S. has been called out for its reliance on LGBTQ jokes.